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Shelling resumes at Azovstal steel plant, Ukrainian officer says

Dmytro, 39, sits by the grave of his childhood friend Andrii Parkhomenko, on May 1, in Irpin, Ukraine. (Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during an address Sunday that for the first time today, the vital corridor to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol had started working.

Zelensky said for the first time, there have been two days of “real ceasefire” and added more than 100 civilians have been evacuated from the plant.

Earlier on Sunday, Ukrainian authorities alongside the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed that an effort to evacuate civilians sheltering in the plant was underway. 

The plant has been subject to heavy Russian bombardment in recent weeks. Hundreds of people, dozens of whom are injured, are thought to be inside the steel-making complex.

Zelensky said the first evacuees will arrive in Zaporizhzhia on Monday morning where the Ukrainian government will meet them. He added the Ukrainian government will continue to evacuate people from Mariupol on Monday, starting approximately around 8 a.m. local time.

The evacuation of civilians from the besieged southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been paused from Sunday night until Monday due to “security reasons,” the Mariupol City Council said in a Telegram post.

Evacuations will now commence at 8 a.m. local time (1 a.m. ET), near the Port City shopping center in Mariupol, the post added. 

Here are more of the latest headlines from the Russia-Ukraine war:

  • Ukrainian foreign minister tells EU’s top diplomat that Russian oil embargo must be included in next sanctions: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has told the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell that an embargo on Russian oil must be included in the bloc’s next round of sanctions. In a tweet Sunday, Kuleba said he spoke with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy regarding “the next round of EU sanctions on Russia which must include an oil embargo.” The foreign minister has criticized the EU’s failure to impose an embargo on Russian oil imports, telling a NATO press conference in early April that “as long as the West continues buying Russian gas and oil it is supporting Ukraine with one hand while supporting the Russian war machine with another hand.” 
  • Russia’s war in Ukraine causing a “catastrophic effect” on global food prices, says USAID administrator: Samantha Power, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development, said Sunday that the impacts of the war in Ukraine include global food shortages and prices, maintaining “our job is to look at it globally” when asked if the worldwide consequences are reflective of a brewing world war. “It is just another catastrophic effect of Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” Power said on ABC’s “This Week.” This comes after US President Joe Biden pressed Congress on Thursday to consider supplying Ukraine with an additional $33 billion aid package, with $3 billion allocated for humanitarian assistance and food security funding.
  • Ukraine’s Ambassador to US says Pelosi’s Kyiv visit was “symbolic”: Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova said Sunday the recent visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Kyiv was “symbolic” and that Ukraine looks forward to the approval by the US Congress of a $33 billion supplemental funding bill aimed at supporting Ukraine over the next several months. “We need all the assistance we can get in defensive weapons, in military support, in financial support but also in humanitarian support,” Markarova said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.” “We look forward to Congress approving it” and “we count on the US in this,” she said. On Saturday, Pelosi led the first official US congressional delegation to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began. 
  • Ukraine’s prosecutor general says there’s more than 9,000 cases of war crimes being investigated: The prosecutor general of Ukraine said her office is opening new cases of alleged war crimes by Russian forces, with a total of 9,158 criminal cases “involving purely war crimes.” Prosecutor Iryna Venedictova said: “We have already identified specific war criminals.” She added, “There are 15 people in the Kyiv region for instance, 10 of them in Bucha. We are holding them accountable for torture, rape, and looting.” Ukrainian prosecutors named ten Russian soldiers last week as suspected of a variety of crimes in Bucha.

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