3 May, 10:45 AM

Day 69 of Putin's war. Russia starts storming AzovStal, attacks Lviv

Today, May 3, is the 69th day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion. Russians continue to destroy Ukrainian cities and towns they claim they want to liberate.

2104: Several blasts have been heard in Lviv. Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi reported a blackout in a part of the city.

Local media reported about at least five blasts and posted a video of Russian rockets allegedly heading to Lviv.  "As a result of a missile strike two power substations were damaged. There is no electricity in the part of the city," Sadovyi said in a statement.

The details are still being clarified.

1638: Russian invading forces are planning to continue the war against Ukraine until September, the Ukrainian Military Intelligence Main Directorate has reported.

"Information is being spread among the occupier's military that the term of the so-called" special military operation "has been set until September 2022," the statement said.

According to intelligence, the Kremlin is considering the possibility of including the occupied territories of southern Ukraine in the temporarily occupied Crimea and their further integration into the Russian economic space. The Russians are planning to fully absorb the occupied territories by 2030.

1432: Russian occupiers have begun storming Azovstal factory in Mariupol, Sviatoslav Palamar, the deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, told Ukrainska Pravda news website. 

According to him, the invaders have been trying to get into the factory hours after Russian aviation bombed the plant, which remains the last Ukrainian stronghold in occupied Mariupol. About 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers are still there, and over 500 of them are wounded.

Some 200 civilians are still in the underground shelter of Azovstal.

Two women died as a result of overnight bombing of the factory. 

1331: The Russians have killed nine civilians in Donetsk Oblast over the past 24 hours, local governor Pavlo Kyrylenko has reported. 

Russian aircraft bombed Avdiyivka in the morning, striking a residential area in the central part of the city.

The consequences of the shelling and bombing have yet to be determined, but at least three people have been killed and 10 were injured, Kyrylenko said.

As a result of the morning shelling of Vuhledar, three people were killed while heading to get drinking water. Three more civilians were killed in the shelling of Lyman.

The Ocheretyn community is also under enemy fire today. "We are clarifying the information on victims and destruction," the governor wrote.

1228: The Russians have blocked the transporting of 2,000 evacuees from Mariupol in occupied Berdyansk, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said during a telethon on Ukrainian TV. 

According to Boychenko, more than 2,000 Mariupol residents who managed to escape from Mariupol in their own cars have been waiting for permission to further evacuate for more than two weeks. 

He claimed that as of today there are some 100,000 people still left in Mariupol, with 200 of them hiding in an underground shelter at the Azovstal factory.

Morning Digest

The Russian army has been sending new soldiers to the war in Ukraine, trying to replenish the significant losses it is taking in Ukraine. In the latest intelligence update, the UK Ministry of Defense said Russia's military is now significantly weaker due to the invasion of Ukraine. Yesterday, the Russians confirmed they had lost 600 tanks in Ukraine, while the Ukrainian army claims the invaders have lost more than 1,000. 

The Ukrainian Army General Staff has reported that the Russians have been getting old military equipment out of storage. 

According to the available information, in the city of Boguchar, Voronezh Oblast, between April 27 and May 2, 17 tanks and 60 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles were taken out of storage. They were sent to the Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russian troops.

In the Izyum area, Russian forces are actively attacking Ukrainian troops. In the Donetsk direction, the main efforts of Russian invading forces continue to focus on establishing full control over the settlements of Rubizhne and Popasna, and advancing in the direction of the settlements of Lyman and Slovyansk.

The enemy did not conduct active hostilities in the South Buh area last night. During the previous day, Air Defense and Land Forces air defense units hit seven Russian Orlan-10 drones and one Forpost drone.

Twelve enemy attacks have been repulsed in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the past 24 hours. The resistance movement continues to develop actively in the cities and villages temporarily occupied by the Russian aggressors, Ukraine's General Staff reported.

CNN has reported that on May 9 Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning to announce an all-out war against Ukraine. 

Earlier, Ukrainian political analysts and military experts claimed Putin will probably announce mobilization the same day, as he needs new soldiers to cover his losses in the war against Ukraine, which he previously called "a special operation."

Today Ukraine will also continue evacuations from Mariupol. 

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