Ukraine War: A dozen elite Russian military units redeployed from Mariupol as kyiv claims to have rearmed the blockaded district with a daring overnight helicopter drop | World News – News 24 | News in France and abroad

Russia moved a dozen elite units from the devastated port of Mariupol, redeploying them to the eastern battlefront, while Ukraine said it had managed to supply the beleaguered steel mills of Azovstal.

It comes as a Ukrainian presidential adviser said Russian forces were trying to carry out operations to storm the area, which is the last stronghold of Ukrainian troops in the crumbling southern city.

The adviser said Russia had resumed airstrikes on the site.

While Russia claims to have “liberated” Mariupol, the latest British military intelligence suggests Russian troops have made no major gains in the country in the past 24 hours as Ukrainian counterattacks continue to hamper their advance.

And Ukrainian authorities have said both sides are racing towards what could be a major fight for control of the country’s industrial heartland.

Ukraine war: Moscow admits dead and missing after warship sinks – latest updates

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3:41

What happened on day 58?

Key developments:

• The United Kingdom will reopen its embassy in Kyiv
• Moldova’s foreign ministry summons Moscow ambassador amid ‘deep concerns’ the country’s Russian-speaking population is being oppressed
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will travel to Moscow on Tuesday to discuss an urgent peacemaking in Ukraine – and may visit Kyiv
Russia’s Defense Ministry says one sailor dead and 27 missing after the Moskva missile cruiser sank last week

President Putin ordered the blockade of the Azovstal facility so tight that “a fly can’t get through” and his troops are keeping the Ukrainian forces pinned there.

But Ukraine’s security chief Oleksiy Danilov said an overnight helicopter delivery brought weapons to the steelworks.

Mr Danilov said the country’s main battles were being fought in the Donbass region, the industrial heartland of the east, with Russia deploying more and more troops every day.

Picture:
A service member of the pro-Russian troops stands in front of the destroyed administrative building of the Azovstal Steel Plant

Russia is watching Moldova

Heavy fighting continues to thwart Moscow’s attempts to fully capture Mariupol and hamper their advance into Donbass.

Overnight, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was just the start – and Moscow has ambitions to capture other nations.

It comes after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the country intended to introduce new methods of warfare, with the conflict now entering its 59th day. British military intelligence suggested it was a “tacit admission” that the war is not progressing as Vladimir Putin had hoped.

On Friday, a Russian general said Moscow wanted to seize all of southern and eastern Ukraine as a new phase of the invasion began.

But despite this, British officials believe it will take time for Russia to adapt its tactics – and for now, “it is likely that there will be a continued reliance on bombing as a means of trying to suppress the Ukrainian opposition.

A member of the pro-Russian troops stands guard at a checkpoint in Mariupol
Picture:
A member of the pro-Russian troops stands guard at a checkpoint in Mariupol

This plan involves capturing the entire Donbass region, linking it to the Crimean peninsula and controlling lands that extend to a breakaway region of Russian-occupied Moldova.

The Moldovan foreign ministry summoned the Moscow ambassador to express “deep concern” over the comments, which suggested the country’s Russian-speaking population was oppressed.

“These statements are unfounded,” the Foreign Office said on its website.

“Moldova … is a neutral state and this principle must be respected by all international actors, including the Russian Federation. »

Explainer: What are Russia’s plans for its “second phase” of the war?

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What is Russia’s plan of attack?

“Realistic possibility” of a long war, according to the Prime Minister

Speaking during his tour of India, Boris Johnson warned there is a “realistic possibility” the war in Ukraine could drag on for a long time.

And as the security situation improves in Kyiv, the prime minister has accepted an assessment from Western intelligence that suggests the conflict will continue for most of 2022 and end with a victory for President Putin.

Eyewitness: Fears Russia is planning to ‘recruit Ukrainians’ in Kherson to ‘fight against their own army’

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Why is Mariupol important?

“The fighting, the bombardments, the bombardments do not stop”

The port city of Mariupol has been reduced largely to smoldering rubble after weeks of bombardment.

Footage shown on Russian state television appeared to show the flag of pro-Moscow Donetsk separatists raised on the highest point in the city – a television tower.

Another video claimed to show the main building of the Azovstal steelworks in flames.

An estimated 2,000 Ukrainian troops remain locked in the huge compound – vastly outnumbered by Russian forces – alongside 1,000 civilians.

Eyewitness: ‘Everything is destroyed’ – Refugees describe the hellish Mariupol attack

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Locals describe the hell of Mariupol

President Putin declared victory in the Battle of Mariupol and ordered his forces not to storm the factory. Instead, he told them to seal it so those inside would have no choice but to surrender.

Petro Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said Russian troops were dropping several bombs on Azovstal every day, adding: “The fighting, the shelling, the shelling does not stop.”

Read more:
Ukraine’s Supreme Prosecutor accuses Russia of planning mass murder, torture and rape

In total, more than 100,000 people are believed to still be trapped in Mariupol with little food, water or heating – and no humanitarian corridors were open on Friday because it was too dangerous.

An estimated 20,000 civilians have been killed there in the past two months, according to Ukrainian authorities.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk urged those remaining in Mariupol to “be patient” and “hang on”.

Satellite imagery appears to show a new mass grave

New satellite images from Maxar have revealed the existence of a second cemetery at Vynohradne, east of Mariupol, which appears to have expanded in recent weeks.

It includes several long trenches which are – or will probably become – new burial sites.

Local officials shared a photo of a 45m by 25m mass grave and expressed fears it could contain the bodies of at least 1,000 people.

The discovery of mass graves has led to accusations that the Russians are trying to cover up the massacre of civilians in the city.

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Earlier this week, satellite photographs also appeared to show rows of freshly dug mass graves in the town of Manhush west of Mariupol.

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Ukraine War: A dozen elite Russian military units redeployed from Mariupol as kyiv claims to have rearmed the blockaded district with a daring overnight helicopter drop | World News – News 24 | News in France and abroad

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