The Azovstal complex came under fire after some civilians were evacuated, according to a Ukrainian soldier. It’s estimated hundreds of Ukrainian civilians are still trapped in the ruins of the plant.

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1 min ago

Some civilians were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant this weekend. Here’s what we know

Civilians who left the area near the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol at a temporary accommodation centre in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on May 1.
Civilians who left the area near the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol at a temporary accommodation centre in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on May 1. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday about 100 civilians had been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant, the last Ukrainian holdout in the besieged city of Mariupol, following weeks of heavy Russian bombardment.

Here’s what we know about the situation:

  • Hundreds of people — dozens of whom are injured — are thought to still be trapped inside the complex. They include civilians and Ukrainian forces who are running out of water, food and medicine after two months.
  • After a rare period of quiet on Sunday that allowed for some evacuations, the complex came under fire again Sunday night, according to a Ukrainian soldier in Mariupol who spoke to Ukrainian television.
  • It’s unclear whether the renewed shelling will jeopardize the next stage of the evacuation from Azovstal, which is due to take place on Monday.
  • Nearly every building at the plant has been destroyed, new satellite images showed Saturday.
  • The UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross are coordinating the safe passage efforts.
  • The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the operation began on Friday alongside a joint UN/ICRC convoy traveling from Zaporizhzhia and reached the steel plant in Mariupol on Saturday morning.
  • UN OCHA said women, children and the elderly were being evacuated to Zaporizhzhia where they will receive humanitarian and psychological support.
  • Zelensky said the first evacuees will arrive in Zaporizhzhia on Monday morning where the Ukrainian government will meet them.
  • He added the Ukrainian government will continue to evacuate people from Mariupol on Monday, starting approximately around 8 a.m. local time.
  • The Russian news agency TASS, citing the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, reported that 80 civilians were rescued from the “territory” of the Azovstal plant and evacuated to a Russian-controlled compound a few miles away.
  • It’s unclear whether any of them came from within the plant itself.

Read more on the situation in Mariupol here.

3 hr 57 min ago

CNN team in South Ukraine sees convoy of 120 cars carrying families fleeing Russian-occupied Kherson

From CNN’s Natalie Gallón and Maryna Marukhnych in Kochubeivka

A long convoy of vehicles attempt to drive north toward the city of Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine on Sunday, May 1.
A long convoy of vehicles attempt to drive north toward the city of Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine on Sunday, May 1. (Natalie Gallón/CNN)

Hundreds of people who had fled their homes in Russian-occupied Kherson were seen evacuating in a convoy of vehicles Sunday afternoon driving north toward the city of Kryvyi Rih. 

A CNN team on the ground in southern Ukraine counted at least 120 cars coming up through the town of Kochubeivka. Some vehicles had white cloths wrapped around the door handles and side mirrors, while others had banners with the word “children” written on them.

Olga, 17, told CNN her family began their journey early in the morning, for a second time. The first time they tried, it was forbidden to leave, she said.

I hate them,” she said of the Russian soldiers.

“I was scared, but there were few checkpoints,” she added about the route to evacuate.

Olga, 17, told CNN her family began their journey early in the morning.
Olga, 17, told CNN her family began their journey early in the morning. (Natalie Gallón/CNN)

Olga said shops in Kherson were empty, and noted cellphone and internet connections had been cut around 9:15 p.m. on Saturday evening.

The CNN team saw families crammed into cars, many with elderly parents; other evacuees were seen shielding their pets, as artillery bangs could be heard in the background and smoke billowed into the sky.

1 hr 44 min ago

US House Intelligence Committee Chairman says It’s only ‘a matter of time’ before Biden visits Ukraine

From CNN’s Sarah Fortinsky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Gregory Meeks and Rep. Adam Schiff during a visit on April 30, in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Gregory Meeks and Rep. Adam Schiff during a visit on April 30, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/Getty Images)

US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff detailed the roughly three-hour discussion members of the Congressional delegation to Kyiv had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Sunday, and said he thinks “it’s only a matter of time” before US President Joe Biden visits Ukraine.

I have to think that a presidential visit is something under consideration, but only a question of how soon that will be feasible,” Schiff told CNN’s Jim Acosta. Schiff noted the delegation did not discuss the topic on the call with Biden Sunday. 

Schiff said the meeting with Zelensky focused on what his priorities are for further assistance, especially as Ukrainians enter a new phase of the war with more concentrated fighting in the eastern part of the country. Members of the delegation subsequently relayed the information to Biden on the call, Schiff said, and made recommendations to the President.

Asked what Zelensky thought about the $33 billion price tag Biden requested in his supplemental aid request for Ukraine to Congress, Schiff said: “It’s his job to say that nothing is enough and, you know, we understand that, we respect that. Nonetheless, I think he’s very grateful for what we’re doing.”

“We wanted to discuss with him, within that really vast sum, what is the priority in terms of what weapons that he needs, what other assistance that he needs,” Schiff said. “We went through a detailed discussion of the next phase of the war. It’s moving from a phase in which Ukrainians were ambushing Russian tanks — it was close-quarters fighting — to fighting more at a distance using long range artillery, and that changes the nature of what Ukraine needs to defend itself.”

Schiff said they discussed a variety of issues, including ensuring he’s getting the military equipment he needs and is getting it quickly. They discussed the humanitarian crisis, refugees, war crimes, and he said, “I wanted to make sure as the intelligence chair that he’s getting the intelligence that he needs.”

Schiff said members of the delegation wanted to communicate to Zelensky at the meeting a message of support because, “If Russia can get away with this, this naked aggression, this invasion of their neighbor, you know, what’s to make us think they’ll stop with Ukraine.”

4 hr 38 min ago

Shelling resumes at Azovstal steel plant, Ukrainian officer says

From CNN’s Mariya Knight, Olga Voitovych and Tim Lister

Birds fly near a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine on April 29.
Birds fly near a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine on April 29. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

After a rare period of quiet that allowed about 100 people to be evacuated, the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol came under fire again Sunday night, according to a Ukrainian soldier in Mariupol who spoke to Ukrainian television.

The occupiers began firing on Azovstal again as soon as the evacuation of some Ukrainians was completed,” according to the commander of the 12th brigade of the National Guard Denis Schlega.

They were using “all kinds of weapons,” he claimed. 

It’s unclear whether the renewed shelling will jeopardize the next stage of the evacuation from Azovstal, which is due to take place Monday. It’s estimated hundreds of Ukrainian civilians are still trapped in the ruins of the plant.  

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said “hundreds of civilians remain blocked in Azovstal together with the defenders of Mariupol. The situation has become a sign of a real humanitarian catastrophe, because people are running out of water, food and medicine,” she said.

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said in an interview on Italian television Sunday the “Kyiv authorities are trying by all means to achieve the withdrawal of the Ukrainian radicals remaining in Azovstal, since among them there may be Western officers and mercenaries.”

There’s been no firm evidence western nationals are among the fighters at Azovstal.

“The situation with the confrontation at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol and the stubborn, even hysterical desire of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky, his team and his Western patrons to achieve the withdrawal of all these people and send them to the territory of Ukraine is explained by the fact that there are many characters who will confirm the presence of mercenaries and, perhaps, active officers of the Western armies on the side of the Ukrainian radicals,” Lavrov said.

5 hr 14 min ago

Pelosi on Poland visit: ‘America stands firmly with our NATO allies in our support for Ukraine’

From CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, center, talks during her meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, April 30.
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, center, talks during her meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, April 30. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/AP)

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a Congressional delegation’s visit to Poland sends “an unmistakable message to the world: that America stands firmly with our NATO allies in our support for Ukraine.”

Pelosi said the delegation was able to meet with troops from the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Poland, and is looking forward to meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday.

“These engagements are even more meaningful following our meeting in Kyiv with President Volodymr Zelenskyy and other top Ukrainian leaders. In that profound and solemn visit, our delegation conveyed our respect and gratitude to President Zelenskyy for his leadership and our admiration of the Ukrainian people for their courage in the fight against Russia’s diabolical invasion. Our Members were proud to deliver the message that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform President Biden’s strong funding request into a legislative package,” Pelosi said.

5 min ago

UN OCHA announces evacuation of women, children and the elderly out of Azovstal

From CNN’s Richard Roth

A woman is seen inside a bus before departing from a temporary accommodation center for evacuees during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine on May 1.
A woman is seen inside a bus before departing from a temporary accommodation center for evacuees during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine on May 1. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced Sunday that a safe passage operation is underway in Ukraine, where civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol are being evacuated to Zaporizhzhia, according to OCHA Spokesperson Saviano Abreu.

The UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross are coordinating the safe passage of women, children and the elderly who have been stranded in Azovstal for nearly two months, the statement reads. Evacuees are expected to receive humanitarian support, including psychological services in Zaporizhzhia, Abreu said.

UN OCHA’s operation began on Friday alongside a joint UN/ICRC convoy traveling from Zaporizhzhia and reached the steel plant in Mariupol on Saturday morning.

5 hr 28 min ago

Kharkiv officials say 3 people killed in Russian shelling Sunday

From CNN’s Olga Voitevych

A residential building destroyed by a Russian missile explosion is seen in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 30.
A residential building destroyed by a Russian missile explosion is seen in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 30. (Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Three people were killed and 8 others were injured in Russian shelling in the Kharkiv region on Sunday, according to Oleg Sinegubov, head of the Regional Military Administration.

“The most active hostilities in the Kharkiv region continue to take place in the Izium area, where the Russians are trying to advance, but have suffered losses and failed,” he said.

“The occupiers also continued to fire on the positions of the Armed Forces in the areas of the settlements of Uda and Prudyanka, and also suffered heavy losses in the area of ​​the village of Stary Saltiv,” Sinegubov said.

Russian forces have been trying to push south and west from the Izium area, much of which they captured a month ago. There has also been fighting east of Kharkiv, as Ukrainian units try to disrupt Russian supply lines from the border. 

5 hr 38 min ago

It’s 11 p.m. in Kyiv. Here’s what you need to know

Dmytro, 39, sits by the grave of his childhood friend Andrii Parkhomenko, on May 1, in Irpin, Ukraine.
Dmytro, 39, sits by the grave of his childhood friend Andrii Parkhomenko, on May 1, in Irpin, Ukraine. (Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during an address Sunday that for the first time today, the vital corridor to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol had started working.

Zelensky said for the first time, there have been two days of “real ceasefire” and added more than 100 civilians have been evacuated from the plant.

Earlier on Sunday, Ukrainian authorities alongside the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed that an effort to evacuate civilians sheltering in the plant was underway. 

The plant has been subject to heavy Russian bombardment in recent weeks. Hundreds of people, dozens of whom are injured, are thought to be inside the steel-making complex.

Zelensky said the first evacuees will arrive in Zaporizhzhia on Monday morning where the Ukrainian government will meet them. He added the Ukrainian government will continue to evacuate people from Mariupol on Monday, starting approximately around 8 a.m. local time.

The evacuation of civilians from the besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been paused from Sunday night until Monday due to “security reasons,” the Mariupol City Council said in a Telegram post.

Evacuations will now commence at 8 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET), near the Port City shopping center in Mariupol, the post added. 

Here are more of the latest headlines from the Russia-Ukraine war:

  • Ukrainian foreign minister tells EU’s top diplomat that Russian oil embargo must be included in next sanctions: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has told the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell that an embargo on Russian oil must be included in the bloc’s next round of sanctions. In a tweet Sunday, Kuleba said he spoke with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy regarding “the next round of EU sanctions on Russia which must include an oil embargo.” The foreign minister has criticized the EU’s failure to impose an embargo on Russian oil imports, telling a NATO press conference in early April that “as long as the West continues buying Russian gas and oil it is supporting Ukraine with one hand while supporting the Russian war machine with another hand.” 
  • Russia’s war in Ukraine causing a “catastrophic effect” on global food prices, says USAID administrator: Samantha Power, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development, said Sunday that the impacts of the war in Ukraine include global food shortages and prices, maintaining “our job is to look at it globally” when asked if the worldwide consequences are reflective of a brewing world war. “It is just another catastrophic effect of Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” Power said on ABC’s “This Week.” This comes after US President Joe Biden pressed Congress on Thursday to consider supplying Ukraine with an additional $33 billion aid package, with $3 billion allocated for humanitarian assistance and food security funding.
  • Ukraine’s Ambassador to US says Pelosi’s Kyiv visit was “symbolic”: Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova said Sunday the recent visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Kyiv was “symbolic” and that Ukraine looks forward to the approval by the US Congress of a $33 billion supplemental funding bill aimed at supporting Ukraine over the next several months. “We need all the assistance we can get in defensive weapons, in military support, in financial support but also in humanitarian support,” Markarova said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.” “We look forward to Congress approving it” and “we count on the US in this,” she said. On Saturday, Pelosi led the first official US congressional delegation to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began. 
  • Ukraine’s prosecutor general says there’s more than 9,000 cases of war crimes being investigated: The prosecutor general of Ukraine said her office is opening new cases of alleged war crimes by Russian forces, with a total of 9,158 criminal cases “involving purely war crimes.” Prosecutor Iryna Venedictova said: “We have already identified specific war criminals.” She added, “There are 15 people in the Kyiv region for instance, 10 of them in Bucha. We are holding them accountable for torture, rape, and looting.” Ukrainian prosecutors named ten Russian soldiers last week as suspected of a variety of crimes in Bucha.
6 hr 26 min ago

Four people killed by Russian shelling in eastern Ukrainian town of Lyman

From CNN’s Tim Lister in Lviv

Four residents of the town of Lyman in the eastern region of Donetsk were killed by Russian shelling on Sunday, according to Pavlo Kyriyenko, head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration.

Lyman has been shelled frequently in the last few days as Russian troops step up their offensive to seize Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The Ukrainian military says the Russians have injected fresh troops and artillery into the region, which has also suffered air and drone attacks.

Kyriyenko said another 11 people were wounded in the latest shelling: seven in Lyman, three in Volodymirivka and one in Yarova.

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