Russia-Ukraine crisis live updates | Zelenskyy describes lack of medical access



Russia was still ready to provide safe passage for the civilians from the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Ukraine’s Mariupol as told by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in a phone call on Thursday, the Kremlin said.

France will increase its financial aid to Ukraine this year to $2 billion from $1.7 billion, President Emmanuel Macron said in a video address to an international donors’ conference in Warsaw, Poland.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office informed on Thursday that since the beginning of Russia’s against Ukraine, 221 children have died and 408 injured.

The United Nations says a third operation is underway to evacuate civilians from Mariupol’s besieged steel plant and the city, which is surrounded by Russian forces.

The conflict began escalating on February 21, 2022, after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed troops in a peacekeeping role.

Here are the latest updates


Zelenskyy describes lack of medical access

In his nightly video address Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described a “catastrophic” lack of access to medical services and medicines in areas of the country under Russian occupation.

In those areas, he said almost no treatment was available for those suffering from cancer and where insulin for diabetics was difficult to find or non-existent. He said antibiotics were in short supply. -AP


Pentagon: Most Russian forces left Mariupol

The Pentagon says the majority of Russian forces that had been around the port city of Mariupol have left and headed north, leaving roughly the equivalent of two battalion tactical groups there, or about 2,000 troops.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that even as Russian airstrikes continue to bombard Mariupol, Moscow’s forces are still making only “plodding” and incremental progress as the main fight presses on in the eastern Donbas region. -AP


Russian oligarch’s yacht seized in Fiji on U.S. request

Authorities in Fiji have seized the $300 million yacht of Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov after the US Justice Department requested the vessel be held for violating sanctions and for alleged ties to corruption, the department said Thursday.

The five-year-old, 348-foot (106 meter) “Amadea” was berthed in Lautoka, Fiji in the South Pacific when local authorities took control of it based on a US warrant and a Justice Department request. -AFP


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