Russian forces are carrying out intensive attacks on the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where some Ukrainian troops are holding out. Meanwhile, the Russians’ offensive in eastern Ukraine has made no progress, according to the Ukrainian armed forces. Russian missile strikes have also hit the city of Kramatorsk for the first time in a month.
Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
Ukraine says front lines are holding: The Ukrainian armed forces say the Russians have had “no success” with efforts to break through front lines in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions over the past 24 hours. In its operational update for Thursday, the General Staff said: “Lyman, Severodonetsk and Popasna areas. The enemy units are trying to conduct offensive operations; no success.”
“Non-stop shelling” at Azovstal: Intense attacks continued on the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol overnight into Thursday, according to Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the Mariupol mayor. The Ukrainian armed forces said Russian soldiers were concentrating on wiping out Ukrainian units at the plant. “The Russian occupiers are focusing their efforts on blocking and trying to destroy our units in the Azovstal area,” the military said in its latest update.
Russia says it will open evacuation corridors: The Russian Ministry of Defense said it expects to open evacuation corridors for civilians out of the Azovstal steel plant near Mariupol starting on Thursday. The evacuations are set to take place from May 5 to May 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Moscow time, the ministry said. CNN has seen no independent evidence that the corridors are operating.
Russia targets Kramatorsk again: Russian strikes hit the center of the eastern Ukrainian city for the first time in a month. At least six strikes devastated a residential area and a building just down the street from the administrative center. At least 25 people were wounded and six were taken to hospital after the strikes in the early hours of Thursday morning, according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of Donetsk regional military administration.
Lula blames Zelensky for war: Two-time former Brazilian President Lula Inacio da Silva has told TIME magazine that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin share the blame for the war in Ukraine. “And now, sometimes I sit and watch the President of Ukraine speaking on television, being applauded, getting a standing ovation by all the [European] parliamentarians,” said Da Silva. “This guy is as responsible as Putin for the war. Because in the war, there’s not just one person guilty.”