Russia resumes Azovstal offensive, says Ukraine presidential advisor
A destroyed administration building at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works.
Chingis Kondarov | Reuters
Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said Saturday that Russia has resumed its offensive against forces in Azovstal, a steelworks and the last Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged city of Mariupol.
“The enemy is trying to strangle the final resistance of the defenders of Mariupol in the Azovstal area,” Arestovych said on national television, according to Reuters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week ordered his military to ditch a plan to storm the Azovstal steel plant, where several thousand Ukrainian troops as well as civilians are encamped, opting instead to continue to seal off the facility via blockade.
Evacuations from Mariupol to start at midday, deputy PM says
Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, said Saturday that evacuations from the besieged city of Mariupol would commence at midday local time if all went to plan, according to Reuters.
“Today, we again will be trying to evacuate women, children and the elderly,” she said in a social media post.
Moldova expresses deep concern over Russian military commander comments
Moldova’s Foreign Ministry says it has summoned its Moscow ambassador and has expressed deep concern about comments made by a top Russian military commander.
Russia’s Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekayev had claimed, without evidence, that the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria was being oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been stationed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and Kyiv has warned that Moscow could stage false flag operations there to justify an invasion.
Moldova’s Foreign Ministry updated a statement onto its website saying “these statements are unfounded and contradict the position of the Russian Federation supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, within its internationally recognized borders.”
Zelenskyy says Ukraine invasion ‘only the beginning’
Russia’s Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekayev had earlier disclosed that Moscow’s goal is to fully control Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region as well as southern Ukraine as part of the second phase of the invasion. It was, however, unclear if the comments reflected official policy from Russia.
Minnekayev claimed, without evidence, that the Russian-speaking population in Transnistria was being oppressed. Transnistria is an unrecognized breakaway state that is officially part of Moldova, which borders Ukraine to the south. Russian forces have been stationed in Transnistria since the 1990s, and Kyiv has warned that Moscow could stage false flag operations there to justify an invasion.
Zelenskyy said late Friday that the comments meant that Russia had ambitions to invade other nearby nations. “The invasion of Ukraine is only the beginning. Then they want to invade other countries,” he said, according to a NBC News translation.
“Of course, we will defend ourselves for as long as necessary in order to break this ambition of the Russian Federation. But all the peoples that believe in the victory of life over death like we do, have to fight alongside us, have to help us,” he added.
“Because it’s us who became the first ones on this path. But who is next? If those who can be next want to remain neutral today in order to not lose something, in reality it is the riskiest bet, because you will lose everything.”
—Matt Clinch and Natasha Turak
Ukrainian officials say another mass grave was discovered near Mariupol
Ukrainian officials say another mass grave has been discovered near the devastated southern port city of Mariupol.
Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to Mariupol’s mayor, said in a Telegram post that there was “new information about the mass burial of dead Mariupol residents” in Vynohradne — a village about 7 miles east of Mariupol.
Maxar satellite imagery of another mass grave site expansion just outside of Vynohradne, Ukraine, just east of Mariupol.
Maxar | Maxar | Getty Images
“This confirms again that the occupiers arrange the collection / burial / cremation of the dead Mariupol residents in every district of the city,” he said, accusing Russia of trying to “hide the consequences of war crimes.”
Separately, U.S. defense contractor Maxar said that high-resolution satellite imagery of the Mariupol area “reveals the existence of a second cemetery that has expanded over the past month and includes several long trenches that are/will likely become new grave sites.”
CNBC and NBC were not able to independently confirm those claims, and Russian officials have yet to respond to CNBC queries about those allegations.
— Joanna Tan
Russia will continue bombardment until ‘new methods of warfare’ are introduced, UK says
Maxar satellite imagery of buildings on fire in eastern Mariupol, Ukraine on April 9, 2022.
Maxar | Getty Images
Russia will likely “continue to be frustrated” by its inability to overcome Ukrainian defenses quickly, according to British intelligence.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said he will introduce “new methods of warfare” — a “tacit admission” that the war is not progressing as intended, the U.K. Defense Ministry said in a tweet.
Moscow new plans will take time to implement, and until then, “there is likely to be a continued reliance on bombardment as a means of trying to suppress Ukrainian opposition,” the report said.
— Joanna Tan
Zelenskyy says allies are delivering the weapons Ukraine wanted
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said allies were finally delivering the weapons that Kyiv had asked for, adding the arms would help save the lives of thousands of people.