- Ukraine’s military says Russia is redeploying some forces from Mariupol to the eastern Luhansk region as Moscow presses ahead with its refocused offensive in the Donbas.
- Mariupol city council says plan to evacuate more civilians from the southeastern port city has been delayed, with buses not yet reaching an agreed collection point, as push to rescue non-combatants continues.
- The UN refugee agency says more than 5.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Moscow launched its offensive in late February.
Here are all the latest updates:
‘Heroes of Mariupol’ and ‘Master Yoda’: Kyiv votes on renaming subway stations
Ukrainians have begun voting online to rename five subway stations in Kyiv whose names are related to Russia or the former Soviet Union, an official says.
Among the new names suggested are “Heroes of Mariupol” and “Bucha”, Kyiv subway system head Viktor Braginsky said on Telegram.
A number of proposals not related to the war have also been put forward, including “Master Yoda”, the name of a Jedi guru in the famed Star Wars films franchise, and “Borscht”, after Ukraine’s iconic red-beet soup, Braginsky added.
Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.
Russian rocket strike hits strategic bridge in Odesa region
A Russian rocket strike has hit a strategically important bridge across the Dniester estuary in the Odesa region of southwest Ukraine, according to local authorities.
The bridge, which has already been hit twice by Russian forces, provides the only road and rail link on Ukrainian territory to a large southern section of the Odesa region.
Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the regional administration, reported the latest strike in a post on Telegram but gave no further details.
Ukraine says Russia deployed ‘reinforcements’ to Popasna: AJE correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from near the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, says Ukraine’s military believes Russia has shifted 800 soldiers to Popasna as “reinforcements” for its offensive in the Donbas.
“That contested town is east of here and is part of Russia’s campaign to try and surround the urban centres of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk,” he said.
“As for other fighting across the frontline … its towns like Lyman, Izyum and Barvinkove where Russia is trying to mount a big surge, according to the Ukrainian military.”
Mariupol evacuation buses have not yet reached pickup point: City council
Mariupol’s city council says buses seeking to evacuate more civilians have not yet reached an agreed collection point, contradicting an earlier report.
The city council urged the evacuees to remain in place. It was not immediately clear what had caused the delay.
Petro Andryushchenko, an aide to Mariupol’s mayor, had earlier said the buses had left Mariupol. But he later put out a message that also confirmed the hitch in the planned evacuation.
The civilians awaiting evacuation are not from the Azovstal steelworks, the last stronghold of Ukrainian fighters resisting Russia’s siege. The UN and International Committee of the Red Cross (IRCR) has organised convoys to get people out from the sprawling Soviet-era site.
A first group of evacuees from the site was due to arrive in Zaporizhzhia, a Ukrainian-held city northwest of Mariupol, on Monday morning after leaving the facility on Sunday.
Andryushchenko, the aide to Mariupol’s mayor, said Russian forces had resumed shelling the steelworks on Sunday as soon as the convoy of evacuees had left the plant.
Poland eyes EU-wide Russian oil embargo by end of 2022
Poland wants the European Union to impose a clear cut off date at which member states will have to stop importing Russian oil, the country’s climate minister says.
“We want this package (of sanctions) to include a very specific and clear date and requirement for all countries… that it should be a complete package without any gaps,” Anna Moskwa said, adding that she hoped an embargo could come into force before the end of the year.
Warsaw has repeatedly advocated tough measures against Russia, but with many EU countries heavily reliant on Moscow for their energy needs the bloc has appeared split on how sanctions should be enforced.
Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland last week after they refused to meet its demand to effectively pay in roubles.
Turkey’s tourism revival fades on Russian war
Moscow’s offensive is expected to result in a massive decline in the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey this year.
The projected downturn is a major cause of concern for Ankara, which is battling ongoing economic crises.
Read more here.
Zelenskyy accuses Turkey of ‘double standards’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Turkey of having “double standards” by welcoming Russian tourists while attempting to act as an intermediary between Moscow and Kyiv in order to end the war.
“On the one hand, Turkey acts as an intermediary and supports Ukraine with important steps, but on the other hand, we also see a development of tourist routes, specifically for Russian tourism,” Zelenskyy told Greek television network ERT.
“These are double standards. This is unfair,” he said.
Reporting by Mansur Mirovalev in Kyiv.
Russia redeploying some forces from Mariupol: Ukrainian military
The General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces says that several Russian battalions have been redeployed from Mariupol to the town of Popasna in the country’s eastern Luhansk region.
Popasna has been one of the epicenters of fighting in the east as the Russian military has sought to break through the Ukrainian defences there as part of its refocused offensive in the Donbas.
The Ukrainian General Staff also said that Russian forces were trying to press their attacks from Izyum to Slovyansk and Barvinkove.
Israel denounces Lavrov’s Hitler comments, summons Russian ambassador
Israel has denounced Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov for suggesting that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish roots, and demanded an apology from Moscow.
Israel’s foreign ministry said it had summoned the Russian ambassador for “a tough talk” over the comments, which Lavrov made on Sunday in an interview with Italian television.
Asked about Russian claims that it invaded Ukraine to “denazify” the country, Lavrov said that Russia’s neighbour could still have Nazi elements even if some figures, including Zelenskyy, were Jewish.
“Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it doesn’t mean anything,” he said, speaking to the station in Russian, dubbed over by an Italian translation.
Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid said Lavrov’s remarks were “unforgivable”.
Ukraine says it destroyed two Russian patrol boats
A Ukrainian Bayraktar drone destroyed two Russian Raptor-class patrol ships in the Black Sea on Monday, Ukraine’s military chief has said.
“Two Russian Raptor-class boats were destroyed at dawn today near Zmiinyi (Snake) Island,” Chief of General Staff Valeriy Zaluzhniy wrote in a Telegram post.
There was no immediate reaction from Moscow to the claim.
Russia says it shot down Ukrainian fighter jet
Russia’s defence ministry says that its armed forces have shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter jet near the city of Slovyansk, in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
The ministry said in a briefing that Russian troops had hit a total of 38 military targets throughout Ukraine overnight, including ammunition depots and control centres.
There was no immediate comment from Kyiv on the claims.
5.5 million have fled Ukraine: UNHCR
More than 5.5 million people have now fled Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The majority have left for neighbouring Poland, which has welcomed more than three million people bidding to escape Russia’s offensive.
New Zealand adds 170 Russian politicians, 6 defence companies to sanctions
New Zealand has added 170 Russian politicians to its sanctions list, as well as six defence companies and organisations which had contributed to Moscow’s offensive.
Foreign minister Nanaia Mahuta announced that the “full suite” of sanctions has now been placed on more than 400 Russian leaders, oligarchs and their family members.
These sanctions will prohibit those on the list from “carrying out activity in New Zealand, and prevent New Zealand from becoming a financial safe haven for those involved with Russia’s illegal activities in Ukraine”, Mahuta said in a statement.
Russians tortured POWs with frostbite, Ukraine claims
Ukrainian prisoners of war taken to Russia were tortured with freezing temperatures, beaten and forced to sing “patriotic” Russian songs, Ukraine’s ombudswoman for human rights has said.
Lyudmila Denisova said on Telegram that some of the 14 Ukrainian POWs swapped on Friday had their limbs amputated because Russians forced them to wear water-filled boots for days in freezing temperatures.
She said the prisoners were thrown in jail in the western city of Kursk, where they were interrogated two or three times a day, beaten severely and denied medical help. She added that apart from the amputated limbs, some had severe wounds and sepsis on returning to Ukraine.
There was no immediate comment from Moscow on the claims, while Al Jazeera could not independently verify the reports.
Shelling damages dozens of Kharkiv heating stations
Shelling in Kharkiv has damaged 24 boiler houses and 36 heating stations, some of which will have to be rebuilt, the region’s press service has said.
“This year, preparations for the new heating season will be large-scale as, due to significant damage, a number will have to be rebuilt anew,” the press service said in a statement.
Three dead and three wounded in Luhansk: Governor
Intensive Russian shelling has killed three civilians in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, its governor has said.
The deaths occurred in the towns of Lysychansk, Popasna and Zolote, Serhiy Haidai said on Telegram.
Haidai also said the Ukrainian-controlled part of Luhansk had witnessed 18 incidents of shelling on May 1 that “ruined” 28 buildings.
Two dead, four injured in Zaporizhzhia
Two people have been killed and four injured as a result of shelling in the town of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia region, the regional military administration has said.
“The occupiers hit high-rise buildings … four people were taken to hospital, two more men died from shrapnel wounds,” the statement said.
The report also said Russian troops carried out assault operations in the area of Huliaipole, while in the area of Polohy, Russian forces set up an ammunition depot in a local hospital and forbade staff to provide medical services to residents.
Missile destroys Dnipropetrovsk grain warehouse: Official
A grain warehouse has been destroyed by a missile attack in the Sinelnikovsky district of the Dnipropetrovsk region, the head of the regional military administration has said.
“No one was injured,” Valentin Reznichenko wrote on Telegram.
Ukraine says 219 children died in war
At least 219 children have been killed in Ukraine amid Russia’s offensive and 405 others wounded, according to the office of the country’s prosecutor general.
Al Jazeera could not independently verify the figures provided.
One-fourth of Moscow’s Ukraine ground forces ‘combat ineffective’: UK
More than one quarter of the 120 battalion tactical groups Russia committed at the start of the war in Ukraine are likely now ineffective for combat, the United Kingdom’s defence ministry has said.
The ministry’s latest intelligence briefing said Russia’s initial commitment represented about 65 percent of its entire ground combat strength.
It added that the units to have suffered the highest level of attrition are some of Russia’s most elite and “will probably take years … to reconstitute”.
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine – 02 May 2022
Find out more about the UK government’s response: https://t.co/ZuMXTmNRyd
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/S7E6h4WTgM
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) May 2, 2022
Jill Biden to visit Ukrainian refugees in Romania and Slovakia
United States’ First Lady Jill Biden will visit Romania and Slovakia from May 5 to 9 to meet US service members and embassy personnel, displaced Ukrainians, humanitarian aid workers and teachers, her office has said.
Biden’s visit is the latest show of support by top US representatives for Ukraine and neighbouring countries that are helping Ukrainian refugees.
Two locations added to Mariupol evacuations
Mariupol City Council has said the UN and Red Cross secured two extra areas from where civilians will be evacuated on Monday – the village of Manhush and Lunacharske Circle near Berdyansk.
The evacuation from Mariupol will now begin from 7am (04:00 GMT), the city council said in a Telegram post. Previously, the start was planned for 8am.
Three dead, eight injured in Kharkiv
Three people have died and eight have been injured in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, its governor has said. Air raid sirens were activated several times overnight in the region.
“Stay as long as possible in shelters. Don’t go out on the streets without necessity,” Oleh Synyehubov wrote on Telegram.
Brussels mayor visits Lviv hospital
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close has visited evacuated Ukrainians receiving hospital care in Lviv, according to the city’s mayor, Interfax reports.
Andriy Sadovyi said the hospital’s needs were recorded in the visit.
“We agreed on the necessary equipment and rehabilitation abroad. A short but important visit,” Sadovyi wrote on his Telegram channel.
Nadal, Djokovic slam Wimbledon ban on Russian players
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have criticised Wimbledon’s decision to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from taking part in this year’s tournament.
“I think it’s very unfair of my Russian tennis mates, my colleagues … it’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment with the war,” Nadal said in Spain where he and Djokovic are preparing to play in the Madrid Open.
“I still stand by my position that I don’t support the [Wimbledon] decision. I think it’s just not fair, it’s not right, but it is what it is,” Djokovic said.
Russia planning attacks on Dnipropetrovsk: Zelenskyy
Russian forces are gathering in the south of Ukraine to attack cities and communities in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Zelenskyy has said.
In his night-time address, he spoke of Russia’s attacks on Sunday, saying the war for Moscow’s troops was one of “extermination”.
“They targeted the warehouses of agricultural enterprises. The grain warehouse was destroyed. The warehouse with fertilizers was also shelled. They continued shelling of residential neighbourhoods in the Kharkiv region, Donbas, etc,” he said.
South Korea embassy staff return to Kyiv
South Korea’s ambassador to Ukraine, Kim Hyung-tae, and other embassy staff have returned to Kyiv to restart operations, according to Seoul’s foreign ministry, Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korean embassy officials had evacuated from the capital and worked at a temporary office in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi since March.
The ministry said it is considering the phased return of the remaining staff.
Azovstal evacuees arrive in Russian-occupied territory
Dozens of civilians evacuated from the bunkers of Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks arrived at a temporary accommodation centre in Donetsk on Sunday, the Reuters news agency has reported.
A Reuters photographer saw civilians arriving in the village of Bezimenne in an area of Donetsk under the control of Russia-backed separatists about 30km east of Mariupol.
They were reportedly receiving refreshments and care.
The operation to evacuate people from the steelworks had been under way since Friday led by the UN, and in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross.
EU ministers to hold emergency Russian gas talks
Energy ministers from European Union countries will hold emergency talks on Monday, as the bloc strives for a united response to Moscow’s demands. Moscow has said foreign gas buyers must deposit euros or dollars into an account at the privately-owned Russian bank Gazprombank, which would convert them into roubles.
The European Commission has told countries that complying with Russia’s scheme could breach EU sanctions, while also suggesting countries could make sanctions-compliant payments if they declare the payment complete once it has been made in euros and before its conversion into roubles.
Russia halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland last week after they refused to pay through the scheme.
Lavrov says May 9 not a relevant date for Ukraine operations
Russia’s foreign minister says Moscow will not base its actions in Ukraine on the deadline of Victory Day celebrated on May 9.
“Our troops won’t artificially base their activities on a specific date, including Victory Day,” Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Italy’s Mediaset television channel, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
“We will solemnly celebrate May 9 the way we always do,” he added.
Some analysis, including from the UK’s defence ministry, has suggested Russia may escalate attacks in the lead up to its national May 9 celebrations to showcase successes in Ukraine.
Explosions in Russia’s Belgorod: Governor
Two explosions took place in the early hours on Monday in Belgorod, the southern Russian region bordering Ukraine, Vyacheslav Gladkov, according to its governor.
“There were no casualties or damage,” Gladkov said after several residents posted videos in which the sound of explosions could be heard on social media.
Earlier on Sunday, Gladkov had reported that one person was injured in a fire at a Russian defence ministry facility in the southern Belgorod region.
Azovstal standoff ‘saved lives’: Azov fighter
The standoff at the Azovstal steel plant saved many lives, the deputy commander of the Azov Regiment has said.
“Because if we hadn’t done this, the front line would be much bigger. The front line would be in another area,” Sviastoslav Palamar told The Associated Press news agency.
Palamar also said while he hoped everyone would be evacuated from the plant, it had been difficult to reach some of the wounded.
“There’s rubble. We have no special equipment. It’s hard for soldiers to pick up slabs weighing tonnes only with their arms,” he said.
Explosion damages bridge in Russia’s Kursk region
An explosive device damaged a railway bridge on Sunday in the Kursk region of Russia, which borders Ukraine, the region’s government reported in a Telegram post.
The explosion caused a partial collapse of the bridge near the village of Konopelka, on the Sudzha-Sosnovy Bor railway, the report from Kursk said.
“It was a sabotage, a criminal case has been opened,” said the region’s governor, Roman Starovoit, according to Russia’s TASS news agency. He said there were no casualties and no effect on the movement of trains.
Zelenskyy hopes ‘all necessary conditions’ will be met for Mariupol evacuations
Ukraine’s president says his government is planning to evacuate more civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol on Monday morning.
“I hope that tomorrow all the necessary conditions will be met to continue the evacuation of people from Mariupol. We plan to start at 8am,” he said in his night-time address.
“For the first time there were two days of real ceasefire on this territory. More than 100 civilians have already been evacuated – women and children first of all,” he said of those who left the Azovstal steel plant on the weekend.
“Given all the complexities of the process, the first evacuees will arrive in Zaporizhzhia tomorrow morning. Hopefully, this doesn’t fail. Our team will meet them there,” Zelenskyy added.
Ukrainian commander says Russia resumed shelling of Azovstal steel plant
Ukrainian National Guard brigade commander Denys Shlega has said in a televised interview that shelling resumed at the Azovstal steel plant as soon as rescue crews ceased evacuating civilians.
Shlega said at least one more round of evacuations is needed to clear civilians from the plant.
Dozens of children remain in bunkers below the industrial facilities, as well as several hundred civilians, nearly 500 wounded soldiers and numerous dead bodies, he said.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read the updates from Sunday, May 1 here.