Russia announced the end of the nearly three-month battle in Mariupol after Ukrainian resistance forces received an order to cease fighting.
After Moscow announced on May 20 that the task of besieging the Azovstal iron and steel factory had been completed, the Russian Defense Ministry said on May 21 that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had reported the results of the operation to President Vladimir Putin. .
“The operation has ended and the industrial zone and the city of Mariupol have been completely liberated,” spokesman Igor Konashenko said.
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said that Russian forces have begun to repair bridges and ports and remove landmines in Mariupol.
After taking full control of the city, Moscow has moved closer to its goal of establishing a corridor on the link between Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region and the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed to Russia in 2014 by referendum. public opinion.
The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that from May 16 until the operation Azovstal ended, about 2,439 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered. The last batch of soldiers received on May 20, including 500 people.
The Ukrainian side has sent a signal of its desire to exchange prisoners with Russia. However, Russian officials and separatists in the Donbass warn that in some cases soldiers from Mariupol could go to trial.
“I consider the trial inevitable. I believe that justice should be restored. The people, society and the international community demand it,” said Denis Pushilin, leader of separatist forces in the Donetsk region. , identify.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on May 21 that the army destroyed a Ukrainian special forces base in the city Odessa, on the Black Sea coast. The Russian Defense Ministry also said that its missiles hit a fuel depot near the city and shot down two Su-25s and 14 Ukrainian drones.
In addition, Russia announced a raid on a large batch of Western-supplied weapons in the province Zhytomyr in the north of Ukraine.
Kiev has not commented on these reports.
On the morning of the same day, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army noted fierce fighting in most of the east, including the areas of Sieverodonetsk, Bakhmut and Avdeevka. The Russian military continues to focus on the key industrial area of eastern Ukraine.
Bashaw Lugansk Serhiy Gaidai accused Russia of trying to destroy the city of Sieverodonetsk. The fighting has spread to the outskirts of the city. Gaidai said many areas were under shelling day and night.
Observers say that Russian forces have made positive progress on the Lugansk front, despite retreating in some areas of northeastern Ukraine in the past week, including the province of Lugansk. Kharkiv.
TASS news agency revealed that Su-57 fighters began to be deployed in Ukraine about 2-3 weeks after the special military operation was conducted. Russia’s fifth-generation fighter aircraft operates out of range of enemy air defense systems.
When the situation on the ground showed no signs of abating, President Volodymyr Zelensky on May 21 reaffirmed his stance that the conflict in this country can only be resolved through diplomacy.
He also mentioned an agreement on ensuring security for Ukraine, saying the agreement will be signed with friends and partners of Ukraine, but a bilateral discussion will also be held with Russia at the same time. .
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry continues to retaliate against Western sanctions. The agency announced today the total list 963 US citizens suffer from entry ban into Russia since Moscow launched a military campaign. In the list there is US President Joe Biden, the Russian has impose a ban since March.
“We emphasize that Washington’s hostile action will be counterproductive and will be subject to proportionate retaliation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, without specifying a deadline.
In the opposite direction, Washington continues to support Kiev despite a series of warnings from Moscow. While on a visit to Korea, President Joe Biden signed a law allowing mobilization 40 billion USD aid to Ukraine.
The bill was passed by the US House of Representatives for fiscal year 2022, then a copy of the bill was sent by US officials to South Korea by commercial flight to get President Biden’s signature.
The budget package is planned to maintain the flow of aid to Ukraine until September, including 20 billion USD for military purposes, 8 billion USD in economic support, 5 billion USD for food and more than 1 billion USD. help refugees.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa visited Ukraine on May 21, appearing with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev. Zelensky said he hoped Portugal would support Ukraine’s attempt to join the EU.
The two leaders also discussed military aid to Ukraine, sanctions against Russia, and how Portugal can help rebuild Ukraine, Zelensky’s office said.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 6.44 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries because of hostilities, more than 39,000 in the past day alone.
UNHCR estimates that about 887,651 refugees went from Ukraine to Russia, more than 3.46 million to Poland, more than 934,000 to Romania and more than 633,000 to Hungary.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported a total of 8,189 civilian casualties in Ukraine, of which 3,838 died and 4,351 were injured. The agency warned the actual number could be much higher.
Name (According to TASS, Reuters, AFP, AP)
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