Ukraine orders finish to defence of Mariupol

Ukraine on Friday ordered its final troops holed up in Mariupol’s besieged Azovstal steelworks to put down their arms after practically three months of determined resistance in opposition to a ferocious Russian assault.

Russia’s flattening of the strategic port metropolis has drawn a number of accusations of battle crimes, together with a lethal assault on a maternity ward, and Ukraine has begun a reckoning for captured Russian troops.

Shishimarin informed the court docket on Friday that he was “truly sorry”. But his lawyer mentioned in closing arguments that the younger soldier was “not guilty” of premeditated homicide and battle crimes.

“Russian occupation forces are conducting intense fire along the entire line of contact and trying to hit artillery deep into the defences of Ukrainian troops,” Ukrainian defence ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk informed reporters.

“In Donbas, the occupiers are trying to increase pressure,” President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned in his nightly video deal with late on Thursday. “There’s hell — and that’s not an exaggeration.”

– Burial with honours –

The metropolis varieties a part of the final pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Lugansk, which together with the neighbouring area of Donetsk contains the Donbas battle zone.

Also apparently full is the seize of the Azovstal steelworks, a totemic image of Ukraine’s dogged resistance since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion on February 24.

Ukraine’s Azov battalion commander Denys Prokopenko mentioned solely the useless remained.

“I now hope that soon, the families and all of Ukraine will be able to bury their fighters with honours.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross urged each side to grant it entry to prisoners of battle and civilian internees, “wherever they are held”. 

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned all prisoners of battle ought to “be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention and the law of war”.

The US Congress authorized a $40-billion (38-billion-euro) assist bundle, together with funds to reinforce Ukraine’s armoured automobile fleet and air defence system.

And assembly in Germany, G7 industrialised nations pledged $19.8 billion to shore up Ukraine’s shattered public funds.

But all 30 current NATO members must agree on any new entrants, and Turkey has condemned the traditionally non-aligned Nordic neighbours’ alleged toleration of Kurdish militants.

Russia’s personal enlargement in Ukraine has ebbed across the northeastern metropolis of Kharkiv, its troops pressured to retreat from a rearguard offensive by defending forces.

“We’re tired. You can see what home comforts that we have,” mentioned Kateryna Talpa, 35, pointing to mattresses and sheets on the bottom, and a few meals in a cardboard field.

“They got used to it,” Talpa mentioned.

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