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War in Ukraine: Latest developments

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

– Last civilians rescued from Azovstal –

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says “all women, children and the elderly” have been evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the destroyed port city of Mariupol.

Kyiv urges aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to evacuate its soldiers from the steel plant, adding those wounded are “dying because of gangrene and sepsis” without medicine.

– Victory Day rehearsal –

Russia holds its final rehearsal for an annual parade marking the Soviet victory in World War II, where its military might will be showcased amid Moscow’s ongoing campaign in Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to deliver a speech during the parade, which some Western officials believe could be a declaration of all-out war on Ukraine, speculation the Kremlin has dismissed as “nonsense”.

– Ukraine says sinks Russian landing craft –

Ukraine’s defence ministry says it has destroyed a Russian landing craft near the Black Sea’s Snake Island, posting overhead footage on social media of what appears to be an explosion over a light craft. Russia has not yet confirmed the strike.

Snake Island became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance after its soldiers colourfully rebuffed a demand by the Russian warship Moskva to surrender.

– ‘Staggering’ Russian violations –

The Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatovic, calls Russian violations of human rights in Ukraine “staggering” after a four-day visit to the country.

The visit to areas outside Kyiv illustrated “mounting evidence of widespread arbitrary killings, torture, and enforced disappearances,” the council says in a statement.

– Italy impounds Putin-linked yacht –

Italy has impounded a $700 million, 140-metre mega yacht as speculation swirls it could belong to Putin.

An Italian investigation has helped establish “significant economic and business links” between the official owner of “Scheherazade”, and “eminent people in the Russian government”, as well as Russians on the West’s sanctions list, the economy ministry says.

– Eastern city surrounded –

Russian forces have almost encircled Severodonetsk, the easternmost city still held by Ukraine where about 15,000 people remain, a local official says.

– Jill Biden visits refugees –

US First Lady Jill Biden visits refugees from Ukraine in Romania, where women and children tell her their stories.

“We stand with you, I hope you know that,” she tells them during a visit to a school in Bucharest, where she is accompanied by her Romanian counterpart Carmen Iohannis.

– New US weapons –

US President Joe Biden announces a new $150 million weapons package to Ukraine, including artillery munitions and radar, while urging Congress to pass a $33 billion aid package including $20 billion in military aid.

The new batch brings the total value of US weaponry sent by the Biden administration to Ukraine to $3.8 billion since Russia invaded on February 24, says Secretary of State Antony Blinken.