Ukraine negotiates evacuation of 60 soldiers from Azovstal, counterattacks near Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast

14 May, 11:09 AM
Smoke rises over the Azovstal steel factory, still protected by Ukrainian troops (Photo:REUTERS/Vitalii Hnidyi)

Smoke rises over the Azovstal steel factory, still protected by Ukrainian troops (Photo:REUTERS/Vitalii Hnidyi)

Today, May 14, is the 80th day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion.

8.21 p.m: The occupiers have finally allowed a big evacuation column of 500-1000 cars from Mariupol to pass through the occupied territories. Now the evacuees are heading to Zaporizhzhiya, Petro Andriushchenko, an advisor to the Mariupol mayor has reported.

According to him, the invaders forced the evacuees to wait for three days. 

Видео дня

2.52 p.m: Ukrainian Armed Forces have started counterattacking in Izyum direction of Kharkiv Oblast, local governor Oleh Synehubov has reported.

"Izyum is the hottest spot. Our Armed Forces counterattack there. The enemy is retreating in some directions, "Synehubov said.

There had been no shelling of Kharkiv over the past 24 hours, and the enemy had focused its fire on the positions of the Armed Forces and communities of Kharkiv Oblast. 

12.07p.m: Ukraine has been negotiating the release of 60 soldiers from the besieged AzovStal steel mill, Ukrainian reintegration minister Iryna Vereshchuk told Suspilne public broadcaster. 

"There are several hundred wounded soldiers at the factory. They must be rescued in the first place," Vereshchuk said.  "However, the Russians do not agree to let us evacuate everyone at once. So, first, we want to rescue the medics and those soldiers, who were seriously injured."

There are 60 heavily wounded soldiers in AzovStal now, she added.

Morning digest

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been going on for more than two months already. Russians have occupied significant territories of the Ukrainian south and east. Yet they had to retreat from Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy oblasts in the north. For several days in a row, the Ukrainian army successfully pushed the invaders away from Kharkiv. 

The occupiers have almost seized control over Rubizhne, a town in Luhansk Oblast they yesterday cut off from the rest of Ukraine by blowing up a strategic bridge that connected Rubizhne with Severodonetsk.  At the same time, they can't take the outskirts of Rubizhne, protected by the National Guard of Ukraine, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai has said during a telethon on the Ukrainian TV. 

According to Haidai, the situation in the city is complicated: there is no water or gas, and the only thing the Russians are proud of is that they "opened" a hospital that was closed.

He also noted that on the border with the Donetsk Oblast, where the occupiers are trying to block the route from Popasna and Belohorivka, heavy fighting has been going on for Bilohorivka.

Russians have been trying to ford Siversky Donets River over and over again, the same place where the Ukrainian army has smashed almost 90 units of Russian heavy equipment, destroyed dozens of soldiers, and blew up two pontoon crossings, shot down a helicopter.

"After the interceptions, we understand that the whole battalion (of Russians) simply refused to go on the offensive because they see what is happening," Haidai said. 

This night the occupiers once again shelled a thermal power plant in Kremenchuk in Poltava Oblast, local governor Dmytro Lunin has reported.

"The occupiers want to leave 180,000 Kremenchuk residents without heating in winter. They used precise missiles, so they knew exactly where it hit," Lunin said. According to him, there were no casualties. However, the infrastructure of the Kremenchuk Power Plant was significantly damaged. 

This is the second time Russians attack this power plant. On April 24 nine Russian missiles hit the power plan and the nearby oil refinery. Yesterday Russians shelled oil refinery again. 

Russian invading forces have been fortifying their positions in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, trying to set a multilevel defense there, the Ukrainian Army General Staff has reported. 

At the same time the occupiers have been withdrawing their troops from Kharkiv and are preparing to defend the already taken positions.

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