Russia-Ukraine live news: Evacuees recount Azovstal ordeal | Russia-Ukraine war News

  • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is “appalled” by the bombing of a school in eastern Ukraine that left about 60 people dead and called for civilians to be spared, his spokesperson says.
  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says “evil has returned” to Ukraine after Russia’s invasion in an emotional address on World War II’s Victory Day.
  • More than 170 civilians have reached the city of Zaporizhzhia after being evacuated from Mariupol and from the Azovstal steel plant where fighters have vowed to continue to battle until the end.
  • G7 leaders held a virtual meeting where they have pledged to reinforce Moscow’s economic isolation and to phase out the group’s dependence on Russian energy.
  • US first lady Jill Biden has paid a surprise visit to her Ukrainian counterpart Olena Zelenska to mark Mother’s Day. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made an unannounced trip to Ukraine where he held a meeting with Zelenskyy.

INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 73

Here are all the latest updates:

‘Everything shook’: Evacuees recount Azovstal ordeal

Dozens of people evacuated from a steel mill in Mariupol have arrived in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia.

Several of them recounted the ordeal of being holed up for weeks under heavy bombardment in Azovstal’s vast network of underground shelters.

“It was terrible in the bunkers,” said 69-year-old Lyubov Andropova, who had been in Azovstal since March 10. “Water would run down from the ceilings. There was mold everywhere. We were worried for the children, for their lungs.”

The shelling was constant, and there was fear “that our bunker would collapse,” she told The Associated Press news agency. “Everything shook, we didn’t go out.”

Yegor Chekhonadsky and his family had also sheltered at Azovstal since early March.

“I just want to live and start again … everything I have is here,” he told Reuters, pointing to a cluster of bags at his feet.

“Of course I’m overjoyed, and happy to be in Ukraine.”

Fiji pauses US seizure of Russia-linked superyacht

A court in Fiji has suspended the execution of a US warrant to seize a $300m superyacht that Washington claims is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, according to prosecutors.

The court granted an “interim stay” after the company officially registered as the Amadea’s owners petitioned judges to stop its seizure.

Prosecutors said the case is scheduled to return to court on Thursday and that the yacht remains in Fiji police custody. It is also blocked from leaving the Pacific nation’s waters despite the warrant suspension.

The 348-foot (106-metre) Amadea has been targeted because Kerimov is among a group of oligarchs close to Moscow who have been santioned by the United States over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia yacht
A screen grab from a drone video footage shows a Russian-owned superyacht ‘Amadea’ docked at Queens Wharf in Lautoka, Fiji May 3, 2022. Reuters TV via REUTERS

Putin to mark Soviet Union’s WWII victory

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to lead anniversary celebrations of the Soviet Union’s World War II victory over Nazi Germany as the conflict in Ukraine grinds on with no end in sight.

Putin is expected to flaunt Russia’s military might during Monday’s symbolically important event.

Huge intercontinental ballistic missiles will be towed for official review through Moscow’s Red Square, and a planned flyover will feature supersonic fighters, strategic bombers and, for the first time since 2010, the Il-80 “doomsday” command plane, which would carry Russia’s top brass in the event of a nuclear war.

Zelenskyy awards medal to mine sniffing dog

Ukraine’s president has presented the country’s famous mine sniffing dog, Patron, and his owner with a medal to recognise their dedicated service since Russia’s invasion.

The pint-size Jack Russell terrier has been credited with detecting more than 200 explosives and preventing their detonation since the start of the war on February 24.

Zelenskyy announced the award at a news conference in Kyiv with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Today, I want to award those Ukrainian heroes who are already clearing our land of mines. And together with our heroes, a wonderful little sapper – Patron – who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat,” Zelenskyy said in a statement.

The award also went to Patron’s owner, a major in the Civil Protection Service, Myhailo Iliev.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy award service dog "Patron" during a news conference
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy award service dog “Patron” during a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine May 8, 2022 [Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters]

Iran opposes war in Ukraine, calls for dialogue

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has called for dialogue between Moscow and Kyiv to bring an end to the war in Ukraine.

“We are against the war in Ukraine, just as we are against the war in Yemen, in Afghanistan, in Syria, in Iraq, or in any other part of the world,” Amir-Abdollahian told a joint press conference in Tehran on Sunday.

“We believe that the solution in Ukraine is political and that political negotiations between Russia and Ukraine must lead to an end to the war,” he added.

Lockheed Martin looks to nearly double Javelin missile production

US weapons maker Lockheed Martin plans to nearly double the production of Javelin missiles, the antitank weapon that has helped Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion, according to its chief executive.

James Taiclet told CBS News on Sunday that his company’s aim is to boost output to 4,000 per year from 2,100 per year currently. The increase will take as long as a couple of years, he said.

The US has rushed $3.4bn worth of weapons to Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24, including Javelins as well as howitzers, anti-aircraft Stinger systems, ammunition and body armor.

“We can start turning up the heat now and ramping up production immediately,” Taiclet said, noting the firm is anticipating increased demand for “superior systems in large enough numbers”.

“We’re planning for the long run and not just in the Javelin,” he said, noting he expects to see increased demand beyond the Ukraine war due to threats from Russia and China.

Japan to ban Russian oil imports ‘in principle’

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida says Tokyo will ban Russian crude oil imports “in principle,” as part of a Group of Seven (G7) campaign to counter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He made the pledge after an online meeting of G7 leaders on Sunday.

“For a country heavily dependent on energy imports, it’s a very difficult decision. But G7 coordination is most important at a time like now,” Kishida said, according to a statement released by the Japanese government.

Russia is Japan’s fifth-biggest supplier of crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Russia has ‘forgotten’ all that mattered to WWII victors: Zelenskyy

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia has forgotten everything that mattered to the victors of World War II.

Denouncing Russia’s heavy shelling in the east of the country, including a strike on a school that he says killed 60 people, Zelenskyy said that while Moscow prepares to commemorate the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Russian troops are attacking civilians in Ukraine.

“Russia has forgotten everything that was important to the victors of World War II,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.

“Civilians who simply hid in the school from the shelling. It was a targeted blow to the school. Another crime of the occupiers,” he said.

Russian soldiers march during a dress rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on Saturday, May 7, 2022 [Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP]
Russian soldiers march on Saturday during a dress rehearsal for Monday’s Victory Day military parade in Moscow [Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP]

UK places fresh sanctions on Russia, Belarus

The United Kingdom is placing fresh sanctions on Russia and Belarus, including import tariffs on precious metals and export bans.

The import tariffs, including on platinum and palladium, will target trade worth 1.7 billion pounds ($2.10bn) while export bans worth 250 million pounds ($310m) will target Russia’s manufacturing and heavy industry, the UK’s Department for International Trade said.

“This far-reaching package of sanctions will inflict further damage on the Russian war machine,” Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

The UK has slapped a range of sanctions on Russian companies and individuals since Russia invaded Ukraine with Belarusian help in February. The UK’s new sanctions bring the total value of products subjected to full or partial import and export sanctions to more than 4 billion pounds ($4.9bn).

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read all the updates from Sunday, May 8 here.

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