Day 72 of Putin's war. Ukraine evacuates 500 people from AzovStal, 41 Ukrainians were released from Russian captivity

6 May, 09:40 AM
Trams destroyed by Russian shelling in Mariupol. (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Trams destroyed by Russian shelling in Mariupol. (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Today, May 6, is the 72nd day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion. Russians continue to attack civilian targets in Ukraine as they prepare for their self-imposed May 9 "Victory Day" celebrations.

1858: Ukraine liberated five villages in Kharkiv Oblast, the General Staff has reported.

After an offensive Ukrainian forces have regained control over Oleksandrivka, Fedorivka, Ukrainka, Shestakovo, Peremoha, and part of the village of Cherkasy Tyshky. 

Russians continue to group forces in Belgorod Oblast, next to the Ukrainian border. 

Видео дня

1818: Russia and Ukraine have conducted another prisoner exchange, Ukrainian reintegration minister Iryna Vereshchuk has reported. More than 40 Ukrainians were released from Russian captivity, 11 of them women.

"28 Ukrainian servicemen and 13 civilians are free. I am especially happy that we've managed to rescue a Ukrainian Orthodox Church priest," Vereshchuk said.

1626: One Ukrainian serviceman was killed and six more were wounded as Russians attacked a car heading to evacuate civilians from the AzovStal factory in Mariupol, Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol, has reported. 

According to him during a ceasefire regime Russians fired against a car heading to get civilians from AzovStal using an anti-tank missile system. 

1535: Russia may be planning to announce a full-scale war on Ukraine on May 9, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmuhal has said during a speech in Warsaw on May 6. 

According to Shmyhal, Ukraine's partners' intelligence services claim Russian political leaders are discussing the possibility of officially announcing war on Ukraine in place of the "special operation.". 

"If this happens, it will be another confirmation that Russia has declared war on the civilized democratic world, democratic values, "Shmyhal said after an international donors' conference in Warsaw in support of Ukraine.

1333: Ukraine has appealed to Medecins Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders) with a request to organize a humanitarian mission to Mariupol and rescue wounded Ukrainian defenders from Azovstal, the Ukrainian Reintegration Ministry said in a statement published on May 6.

The Azovstal steel factory is the last Ukrainian stronghold in Russian-occupied Mariupol. It is currently surrounded by Russian troops that have been trying to storm the factory for three days. 

There are still about 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers of the Azov regiment, border guards, and marines trapped there, fighting for their lives. About 600 people were wounded and are currently forced to live in inhumane conditions, without proper medical help, Ukraine's reintegration minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, has said in a statement.  

Russians have allowed only some civilians to leave the territory of Azovstal after more than a month of negotiations at the highest levels.

1259: Russia has lost more than 24,900 soldiers killed in action in Ukraine since Feb. 24, the Ukrainian Army General Staff has reported.

The Russians have also lost one more vessel in the past 24 hours, the General Staff said in an update from the frontline.

Although Ukrainian officials have not yet revealed any details about the Russian vessel, Ukrainian media report Russian frigate Admiral Makarov is on fire near Zmiinyi Island in the Black Sea. It was allegedly hit by a Ukrainian Neptune missile.  A rescue operation is ongoing. 

Morning Digest

Early in the morning Ukrainian President's Office Head Andriy Yermak said that with the mediation of the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross, the Ukrainian government has managed to evacuate 500 civilians from Azovstal, the last Ukrainian stronghold in Russian-occupied Mariupol. 

The Pentagon has confirmed that Russia has withdraw most of its forces from Mariupol and redirected them to the north of Donetsk Oblast. Despite that, Russia keeps shelling Azovstal, while its troops continue to storm the factory, where more than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers still fight the occupiers. People there are dying of hunger and wounds, constantly asking world leaders to assist and evacuate them to a third country. 

Yesterday, Ukrainian troops liberated several settlements in Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts. However, during the last 24 hours, Russian invaders were shelling the villages and towns they no longer controlled in both oblasts.

Ukrainian forces repulsed 11 enemy attacks in Donbas in the last 24 hours. They destroyed eight Russian tanks and 16 armored military vehicles, the Ukrainian Army General Staff reported.

The Russians continue to attack near Popasna, Lyman, and Siversk, in Donetsk Oblast.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has reported that U.S intelligence helped Ukraine to sink the Russian flagship Moskva by providing intelligence data on the vessel.

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