- Putin tells forces not to storm Ukraine holdout in Mariupol.
- Russia says it hit 1,001 targets in Ukraine overnight.
- Kyiv police find 2 mass graves with civilians.
Russia-Ukraine Crisis: The war between Russia and Ukraine entered day 57 on Thursday and top officials from Britain, the United States and Canada staged a walkout over Moscow’s representatives at a Group of 20 meeting on Wednesday. The cracks between the groups were further exposed after many members spoke to condemn Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Russian forces said that they will seize the Mariupol steel plant on Thursday. It is the last main stronghold of resistance in the besieged city. If actually happens, Mariupol would be the biggest city to be seized by Russia in the eighth weeks-long invasion. Ukraine’s defence ministry is yet to make a comment on this. On Wednesday, Russia conducted a first test launch of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new and long-awaited addition to its nuclear arsenal.
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered the Russian military to cancel plans to storm the Azovstal plant in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol and said he wanted it to continue to be hermetically blockaded instead. President Joe Biden is set to announce plans Thursday to send additional military aid to help Ukraine fight back against the Russian invasion, according to a U.S. official.
A top ally of President Vladimir Putin said Russian forces will seize the last main stronghold of resistance in the besieged city of Mariupol on Thursday after Ukraine proposed talks on evacuating troops and civilians there. Meanwhile, the Luhansk governor said Russian forces now control 80% of the region, which is one of two regions that make up the Donbas in eastern Ukraine. The conflict began escalating after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops in a peacekeeping role.