​Day 68th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)

Defense Express collects operative information on Russia's invasion of Ukraine – official sources and senior Ukrainian authorities' announcements
The first group of about 100 civilians, approved for evacuation from the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol is now heading to the Ukrainian-controlled territory
The first group of about 100 civilians, approved for evacuation from the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol is now heading to the Ukrainian-controlled territory

Ukraine continue to resist russia’s aggression for 67 days. The enemy continues to conduct full-scale armed aggression against Ukraine and offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone. The defenders of Ukraine inflict irreparable losses on the enemy in manpower and equipment on a daily basis, thus approaching the day when it will be possible to launch attacks and begin to liberate the Ukrainian lands occupied by the invaders

Brief facts:

  • Chief of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov: Russia prepares to announce mass mobilisation on 9 May.
  • Two Russian Raptor boats were destroyed this morning near Zmeinyi Island.
  • Russia committed over 120 battalion tactical groups, approximately 65 percent of its entire ground combat strength - UK Defense Intelligence.
  • Russian forces resume massive shelling of Azovstal plant after evacuation effort.
  • The President of Ukraine Volodomyr Zelenskiy said that evacuations from Mariupol will continue tomorrow if “all the necessary conditions” are met.

Side note: news are marked in accordance with the Kyiv time zone: Eastern European Time (EET), GMT/UTC+2

Read more: The 67th Day of the War: Russian Casualties in Ukraine

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00:35 Sweden to re-open embassy in Kyiv on May 4.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde wrote that the embassy’s “diplomatic presence will be back where it belongs.”, Kyiv Independent reports.

00:10 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy assures operation to evacuate people from Mariupol continues.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy assures operation to evacuate people from Mariupol continues, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Open source photo

President Zelensly said this in his video address, Ukrinform reports.

“We continue to do everything to rescue our people from Mariupol. The evacuation operation continues. Tomorrow we also expect movement through humanitarian corridors from Berdiansk, Tokmak, Vasylivka,” the Head of State stressed.

At the same time, according to him, the Armed Forces heroically restrain the enemy’s attempts to advance.

23:40 The Joint Forces Operation press service: Ukrainian military destroyed 6 tanks, shot down 5 UAVs in JFO area.

The Joint Forces Operation press service: Ukrainian military destroyed 6 tanks, shot down 5 UAVs in JFO area, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Open source photo

“On May 2, 2022, the JFO group successfully repelled 12 enemy attacks. Due to the skillful actions and competence of the Ukrainian military, Russian occupiers suffered losses,” the report says.

In particular, Ukrainian defenders destroyed six tanks, five artillery systems, 22 units of armored combat vehicles and eight enemy vehicles, Ukrinform reports.

Ukrainian air defense units shot down five Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles.

23:20 The US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Michael Carpenter: Russia will try to create ‘Kherson People’s Republic,’ annex temporarily occupied territories.

The US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Michael Carpenter: Russia will try to create ‘Kherson People’s Republic,’ annex temporarily occupied territories, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Ilustrative photo from open sources

Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, stated this at a briefing at the US State Department, Ukrinform reported.

The ambassador stated, citing recent intelligence reports, that Russia will try to annex the so-called "Donetsk People’s Republic" and "Luhansk People’s Republic".

“The reports state that Russia plans to engineer referenda upon joining sometime in mid-May, and that Moscow is considering a similar plan for Kherson,” he said.

23:10 The head of the Mariupol patrol police Mykhailo Vershynin: Russian military continues to shell Azovstal.

He told CNN that the plant had been shelled “non-stop” by Russia since the early morning of May 2. A day prior, almost a hundred people were able to leave the plant, with nearly 1,000 people remaining trapped at the facility. Vershynin called Russia’s agreement to release people a “cynical lie”, Kyiv Independent reports.

22:30 Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych: Russian troops shelled Mykolaiv, no casualties reported.

Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych: Russian troops shelled Mykolaiv, no casualties reported, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war

Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych wrote on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

“In the evening, the Russian occupiers again shelled Korabelnyi district of Mykolaiv… No casualties have been reported,” he wrote.

Senkevych informed that as a result of the shelling, three metal construction wagons caught fire. Rescuers of the State Emergency Service extinguished the fire.

22:00 Operational Group “East” servicemen eliminated 75 invaders in eastern Ukraine.

Operational Group “East” servicemen eliminated 75 invaders in eastern Ukraine, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Destroyed russia's T-72 / Open source photo

Ukrainian defenders eliminated 75 invaders and an ammunition depot in the area of responsibility of the operational and tactical group “East”, Ukrinform stated, the operational and tactical group “East” reported on Facebook.

"On May 2, Russian fascist troops carried out 1 attack. Our artillery fired on the accumulation of personnel and equipment. In addition, an ammunition depot was destroyed," the report says.

Enemy losses include: personnel - 75, tanks - 2, infantry fighting vehicles - 6, armored personnel carriers - 5, artillery systems - 1, mortar squads - 2, artillery tractors - 3, UAV - 4, special equipment - 1.

21:20 A spokesman of the Odesa Regional Military Administration Serhiy Bratchuk: A child killed in Russian missile strike on Odesa.

“The information has been conformed that there are killed and wounded. A 15-year-old child is among those killed. More detailed information will be released later because the rescue operation is still underway," Bratchuk said during a nationwide telethon, Ukrinform reports.

21:00 Chief of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov: Russia prepares to announce mass mobilisation on 9 May.

Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov: Russia prepares to announce mass mobilisation on 9 May, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Chief of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov / Open source photo

When asked whether Russia plans to announce the mobilisation on 9 May, Budanov said: "Yes, they are preparing", he said in the interview with NV, Pravda states.

"Now Rosreserv [Russia’s Federal Agency for State Reserves] has started to check what they actually have in stock and to calculate what they can give out on mobilisation orders. This is an absolutely necessary step before the start of real mobilisation," he explained.

20:25 Derhachiv community head Viacheslav Zadorenko: Russian occupiers set up "torture camp" in train station’s basement in Kharkiv region.

Derhachiv community head Viacheslav Zadorenko: Russian occupiers set up
Derhachiv community head Viacheslav Zadorenko / Photo credit: Suspilne Kharkiv

“We know that the occupiers’ troops set up, let’s say, a ‘torture camp’ at the railway station, as people were sent to the basement and subjected to physical violence. They were tortured and interrogated: both volunteers and average local folks," Zadorenko said, Ukrinform reports.

"During the evacuation, the locals told us that (the Russians - ed.) had put bags on their heads and tied their hands, put them on their knees, and tortured them. These people have left for a safer area today, the relevant services are workign with them, recording all this evidence,” Zadorenko stated.

20:00 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted the operational update regarding the russian invasion on 18.00 on May 2, 2022.

According to the report, the greatest activity of russian invaders is observed in Slobozhansky and Donetsk directions.

General Staff reports, that the enemy regrouped troops, strengthened artillery units and air defense units. It is trying to establish a system of logistical support for the grouping of troops in these areas.

The aggressors also continue to try to form a system of so-called authorities in the temporarily occupied territories. The General Staff urges Ukrainians to resist the enemy.

Find more details on the theme and key points of the report in a publication by Defense Express:

Ukraine’s General Staff Operational Report: russian Occupiers are Trying to Maintain the Land Corridor With the Temporarily Occupied Crimea

19:45 According to Washington Post there’re already 50 units of M777 Towed Howitzers in Ukraine. Next what Ukraine may expect is HIMARS or M270.

Read more detailed analysis in the article by Defense Express: Over 50 units of M777 Towed Howitzers in Ukraine, Next HIMARS or M270

Over 50 units of M777 Towed Howitzers in Ukraine, Next HIMARS or M270 – Washington Post, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
M270 / Open source photo

19:30 Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba on Mariupol evacuation: only civilians at this point.

This was stated by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, who spoke at a joint briefing with Denmark's top diplomat Jeppe Kofod, Ukrinform reports.

17:56 M777 howitzers are on the way to Ukraine

The US Department of Defense has posted a video of US marines loading M777 howitzers on a cargo plane. The weapons are delivered from the March air base by Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.

17:27 A fire broke out in a russian ammunition plant

Munition-making plant located in Perm, russia, caught fire, Suspilne reports citing russian state media RIA Novosti. The plant produced missiles for "Smerch" and "Grad" MLRS, and for air defense systems.

The local state service stated the fire broke out accidentally. Two employees died, and two got injured.

Update: the incident happened on May 1, and the messages about it appeared just today, Suspilne and Censor.net report.

16:49 European Union is likely to impose embargo on russian oil this week

Illustrative image / Credit: Financial Times

Two senior diplomats told The Wall Street Journal that the European Union is likely to stop buying russian crude oil as early as before the end of 2022, and russian refined-oil products by the end of this year. The proposals would be the core of the sixth package of EU sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine and might come this week, the diplomats say.

Oil-and-gas revenues accounted for 45% of Russia’s federal government budget in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency. The oil embargo are aimed to cut off the Kremlin's ability to fund the war.

Slovakia and Hungary, as highly reliant on russian oil, could get "an exemption or a long transition period", one of the officials said, Reuters reports. Also, the transition process is likely to be phased in anyway, most likely only taking full effect from the start of next year, officials said.

16:27 The russians have illegally deported 181,000 Ukrainian children to the occupied territories

Some 2,000 of them are orphans or children deprived of parental care, said Daria Herasymchuk, Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children’s Rights and Rehabilitation, during the briefing at the Ukraine Media Center.

According to her, russia is preparing special amendments to legislation that will simplify the process of adoption of illegally deported children by russian citizens. As noted by Defense Express, these planned amendments have been repeatedly evaluated as russia legitimating child abduction.

The Ukrainian government is developing a special mechanism to return the abductees, Daria Herasymchuk assured.

"Recently, there were two successful cases of returning girl Kira and boy Illya from the russian federation. Similar special operations are planned for other cases (of child abduction - ed.). However, I can't provide the details of these special operations and the whereabouts of the children due to security reasons," the Children’s Rights Commissioner said.

16:00 Costly russian "Forpost" UAV down

More details from the Odesa region came from the spokesperson of the region's administration Serhii Bratchuk. According to him, on May 2, an air defense unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has shot down a costly UAV of the "Forpost" type.

This is not the first case of such drone being taken down by Ukrainians. According to the open-source data, "Forpost" is a russian licensed version of the Israeli IAI Searcher drone. The main functions are intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

More details:

Expensive russian "Forpost" UAV Down

Defense Express / russian
Illustrative photo: russian "Forpost" UAV shot down in Ukraine back in 2015 / Photo credit: Bellingcat

15:51 Another "Orlan-10" shot down

Footage published by the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade of Ukrainian Armed Forces shows the russian unmanned aerial vehicle fall down, shot by air defense:

15:21 Ukrainian security service has identified 900 russian invaders responsible for atrocities in the Kyiv region

Defense Express / Day 68th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)
Illustrative photo: numerous russian marodeurs have already been identified earlier with the use of facial recognition

"Ukrainian special service has all the information about the occupiers, as well as proof of their atrocities," said the Security Service of Ukraine in a statement. The state service claims to have identified about 900 russian servicemen involved in the torture and killings of civilians in Bucha and other settlements of the Kyiv region.

The data about 2,500 more russian troops, who had been deployed to the Kyiv region, are being investigated on the subject of involvement in those crimes. Also, more than 7,000 witnesses of the atrocities were already questioned and a special hotline for such witnesses was created.

14:42 Russia is mobilizing volunteers for fighting in Ukraine

Defense Intelligence of Ukraine informs, that a campaign for mobilization of volunteers into combat groups has started in the russian federation. These are planned to replenish the units fighting in Ukraine, as well as form new ones. The military command of russian army has set a bottom "limit" – not less than 200 volunteers per every federal subject weekly. Nevertheless, the campaign does not apply to Moscow.

The newcomers are encouraged with propaganda and financial benefits.

Ukrainian intelligence noted that not less than 95% of well-trained russian battalion-tactical groups prepared for the invasion have already been involved in fighting which is "still not enough to succeed" in the war against Ukraine.

Defense Express / Day 68th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)
Illustrative photo: Russian cadets rehearsing for a Victory Day parade in russia in April 2020 / Photo credit: Anton Novoderezhkin, TASS

14:11 Russians attacked the bridge over Dniester Estuary once more

Initially, it was reported by the Spokesperson of the Odesa region administration Serhii Bratchuk, then confirmed by the administration's head Maksym Marchenko. He said, no one was hurt as result of this attack.

It is not the first attack on this bridge of strategical value. The bridge over Dniester Estuary in Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky of Odesa region was hit earlier, on April 27, with three cruise missiles. As Marchenko said back then, russians wanted to cut off a part of the Odesa region and create tension in the Odesa region in the background of the explosions in Transnistria.

In addition, the official confirmed today's information on the destruction of two russian "Raptor" boats near Zmiinyi Island. He detailed, that the enemy's equipment was attacked with Bayraktar TB2 UAVs by Ukrainian Navy. Air defense forces today took down one more russian reconnaissance drone.

More details on the successful naval operation this morning:

Ukrainian Drone Destroyed Two Russian Raptor Boats

Defense Express / Russian Raptor boat, that was destroyed by Ukrainian troops / Day 68th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)
Russian Raptor boat, that was destroyed by Ukrainian troops / Screenshot image credit: CinC AF of Ukraine

13:47 Over the past day, 16 settlements were shelled in Ukrainian Donbas (Eastern region)

Defense Express / A residential building hit by russian shelling / Day 68th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)
A residential building hit by russian shelling / Photo credit: Joint Forces Operation

More than 30 residential buildings were hit, there are casualties, Joint Forces Operation press center reports. A family couple were killed, and three people got injured in Lyman city, seven people got hospitalized in a few small villages.

Other civilian infrastructure got shelled, too: a gymnasium, two medical facilities for children, grain storage and a poultry farm, as well as numerous stores, garages, power lines, a fire station etc.

More information on russian war crimes:

Chronicle of the Russian Federation Crimes in Ukraine (update)

13:32 Heavy truck of Russian occupiers destroyed

25th Air Assualt Brigade of Ukrainian paratroopers showed footage of another piece of russian equipment "turning into scrap metal", as the brigade's press center mentioned on Facebook.

"We work with maximum effectiveness," they say.

12:55 The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office on Telegram: “Over 624 children in Ukraine have been affected by the Russian armed aggression. As of May 2, 2022, the number of those killed remained unchanged (219 children). The number of those injured increased to over 405,” the report states.

According to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office, these data are not final, as they are being investigated within the areas of hostilities, temporarily occupied and liberated areas.

Currently, most casualties were recorded in Donetsk Region (139), Kyiv Region (115), Kharkiv Region (95), Chernihiv Region (68), Kherson Region (45), Mykolaiv Region (43), Luhansk Region (37), Zaporizhzhia Region (27), Sumy Region (17), the city of Kyiv (16) and Zhytomyr Region (15).

12:40 In the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, there are again missile attacks — two missiles fell in the Synelnykove district. One missile aimed at the pig farm (pigs are alive), hit the warehouses. Between them, there is a funnel — 15 meters wide and 10 meters deep. The second missile landed to the field, said the head of the region Valentyn Reznichenko.

12:15 The Security Service of Ukraine publishes another interception of conversations of the Russian military: to mask the losses in the war in Ukraine, the corpses of Russians are transported in small batches and only at night. This significantly increases the delivery time, so sometimes the relatives of the occupiers receive a "semi-decomposed cargo of 200", which must be further identified.

11:55 Russian troops again employed Uragan multiple rocket launcher systems to target suburbs of Mykolaiv city last night. Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesman of Mykolaiv’s military commandant office, reported on Facebook.

“Last night the Russian occupation forces once again shelled suburbs of Mykolaiv city. Cluster munitions of Uragan multiple rocket launcher systems again hit the yards of civilians. Private houses and yards were damaged,” the report says.

It is noted that the enemy continues to terrorize civilians of Mykolaiv region at nights, shelling residential districts with the forbidden cluster munitions.

Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:

Russia Continues to Use Prohibited Phosphorous and Cluster Munition in Ukraine

11:10 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has posted the new summary of total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 02.05. Find them in an infographic by Defense Express:

So far, the list of enemy's combat losses is the following:

Personnel - more 23 800 (+300),

Tanks ‒ 1048 (+22) units,

APV ‒ 2519 (+48) units,

Artillery systems – 459 (+8) units,

MLRS – 152 (+1) units,

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 80 (+3) units,

Aircraft – 194 (+2) units,

Helicopters – 155 (+0) units,

Vehicles and Fuel tanks – 1796 (+20) units,

Boats / cutters – 8 (+0) units,

UAV operational-tactical level – 271 (+26) units,

Special equipment – 38 (+6),

Cruise missiles - 84.

Data are being updated. The calculation is complicated by the intensity of hostilities.

10:30 Ukrainian military intelligence reports that Belarusians are being cut off from the internet so that they do not report the movement of Russian troops. For the first time in Belarus, a full and partial restriction of access of mobile subscribers to the internet was recorded on April 1. Entire regions of Belarus were restricted from accessing the internet for a month. Anomalies in access to the network are recorded in some areas south and southeast of Minsk — which indicates the corridor of traffic (this was confirmed by intelligence from other sources).

Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:

Ukraine’s General Staff Operational Report: russian Deployed Additional Anti-aircraft Missile Systems in the Occupied Territories

09:55 CinC AF of Ukraine, General Valery Zaluzhny posted on Facebook: Two Russian Raptor boats were destroyed at this morning near Zmeinyi Island.

08:45 General Staff has released an operational update on the state of warfare as of 06.00 on May 2, 2022.

Key points:

  • In the Donetsk direction, the offensive is going almost along the entire line of contact. In the Lyman direction, Russia fired on the positions of the Armed Forces on the Lyman-Siversk border in order to push them back and create conditions for an attack on Slovyansk.
  • In the Sievierodonetsk direction, the main efforts of the Russians are now to completely capture Rubizhne and prepare for the attack on Sievierodonetsk.
  • In the Popasna direction, Russia tried to improve the tactical situation in the Popasna area — it strengthened its troops by moving one battalion tactical group from the Mariupol direction.
  • Russia has deployed additional air defense systems in the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
  • The occupiers are trying to reach the administrative border of Kherson oblast, looking for weaknesses in our defense. In the area of Mykolayiv Russia investigates the positions of the Ukrainian military by drones.
  • Russia continues to shell Kharkiv, the village of Udy, and the village of Prudianka. In the Izyum direction, the Russian army is advancing in the Izyum-Barvinkove and Izyum-Slovyansk directions.
  • On the border with Ukraine, in Bryansk oblast, the Russians established a counterintelligence regime. Checkpoints are located on the main roads and near the settlements.

08:10 According to the latest UK Defense Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine on May 2, 2022, at the start of the conflict, Russia committed over 120 battalion tactical groups, approximately 65 per cent of its entire ground combat strength. It is likely that more than a quarter of these units have now been rendered combat ineffective. Some of Russia’s most elite units, including the VDV Airborne Forces, have suffered the highest levels of attrition. It will probably take years for Russia to reconstitute these forces.

07:12 The Ukrainian Air Force shot down 10 Orlan-10 drones for the previous day. Enemy aircraft mostly operate outside the airspace of Ukraine or in the temporarily occupied territory, where the enemy has significantly increased its own air defense of various types.

Therefore, the targets of Ukrainian defenders are mostly Russian Orlan-10 drones, which mainly conduct air reconnaissance and adjust the fire of the occupants' artillery.

The cost of one Orlan-10 device is about $ 80-120 thousand, depending on the configuration.

Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:

Ukraine’s Air Force Shot Down Nine Enemy Air Targets Previous Day

05:30 Ukrainian soldiers have shown the best method of counter-battery fight : hitting in ammunition guarantee "demolition" of the gun along with the manpower of the enemy

During the fighting in the Donetsk region, the artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed a battery of enemy 2A65 Msta-B howitzers, which fired on Ukrainian positions.

The enemy lost at least one Ural military truck with ammunition, at least four 152 mm howitzers. The number of disposed occupiers remains unknown. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine told about it on its Facebook page.

Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:

The Armed Forces of Ukraine Hit the russian Battery which Was Trying to Fight in "Syrian" Methods in Donetsk Region

russian Msta-B hotwizers, Defense Express
russian Msta-B hotwizers / illustrative photo of pre-war times

03:20 Defenders of Ukraine repulsed 10 enemy attacks, destroyed up to 20 russian artillery systems In JFO Area

In the Donetsk and Luhansk directions, Ukrainian troops successfully repulsed ten enemy attacks in the past 24 hours. Ukrainian defendersalso destroyed enemy tanks, dozensof artillery systems, armored fighting vehicles, tracks on Sunday, May 1

The JFO press service announced this on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

According to the report, Ukrainian defenders destroyed 2 tanks, 17 artillery systems, 38 armored fighting vehicles and 10 enemy tracks.

Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:

In JFO Area Defenders of Ukraine Repulsed 10 Enemy Attacks, Destroyed up to 20 russian Artillery Systems

01:35 In the russian federation declared that the railway bridge which "collapsed" in the Kursk region on the Sosnovny Bir - Sudzha railway line, didn't fall independently

The governor of the region Roman Starovoit personally went to look at the scene in order to then comment on the event on video. After visiting the scene, he said that the bridge was allegedly blown up as a result of sabotage. According to him, now a whole bunch of Russian investigators will deal with this mess.

Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:

Railway Bridge in Kursk Region of Russia Tired For a Long Time, the russians are Looking for Saboteurs

Through the collapsed railway bridge in the Kursk region, there was a supply of occupying troops in the Izyum direction, Defense Express
Through the collapsed railway bridge in the Kursk region, there was a supply of occupying troops in the Izyum direction

01:00 Russian forces resume massive shelling of Azovstal plant after evacuation effort.

The invaders have resumed massive strikes on the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol shortly after a group of civilians sheltering there was evacuated earlier on Sunday.

This was announced on national television by Commander of the 12th National Guard Brigade, Denys Schleha, Ukrinform reports.

According to the commander, every day the enemy is pushing harder and harder to seize control of the site.

Russian forces resume massive shelling of Azovstal plant after evacuation effort, Defense Express
Russian forces resume massive shelling of Azovstal plant after evacuation effort / Photo credit: Sky News

"When the invaders failed to implement their priority plans, they began destroying the area with heavier weapons. Over the last two days, while the operation to remove the local population from the plant was being carried out, a ceasefire was announced, and two days went peacefully. But as soon as the last civilian (from the group approved for evacuation on Sunday - ed.) left the plant, (soon after that - ed.), the plant came under fire, again, as all kinds of weapons were employed," Schleha said.

Separately, the commander clarified that, according to their estimates, there are still several hundred civilians remaining in the Azovstal bunkers, including up to 20 children.

"We would also really like to see our wounded, about 500 people so far, be allowed out of Azovstal, and we want our fallen comrades-in-arms to be taken away, which is also a very large number," said the National Guardsman.

He stressed that the Ukrainian forces holding the plant would keep performing their tasks till the end.

"The guys have been repelling (the enemy - ed.) for 67 days already and, I believe they have done everything possible and impossible, and continue to do so. And we will fulfill all the tasks set before us and defend our Homeland. But it is necessary to provide an opportunity to complete the effort related to the civilians (the evacuation effort - ed.), to get the wounded and dead out of there, and if possible - to evacuate the garrison personnel," he said.

The first group of about 100 civilians, approved for evacuation from the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol, which is being continuously shelled by Russian occupation forces, is now heading to the Ukrainian-controlled territory, earlier reports said.

00:30 Media: Russian forces are continuing their attacks on Ukraine's industrial heartland in the eastern Donbas region.

Sky News' Alex Rossi visits the positions of 93rd brigade south of Kharkiv, and speaks to Ukrainian troops ahead of an expected advance.

00:10 Operational and Tactical Group East: Dozens Invaders, Tank, Over 20 Units of Enemy Equipment Eliminated in Eastern Ukraine

On May 1, in the east of the country, the Armed Forces of Ukraine repelled five attacks of the russian troops. Ukrainian defenders killed 57 russian invaders and destroyed an enemy tank and more than 20 units of enemy equipment in the area of responsibility of the Operational and Tactical Group East.

The Operational and Tactical Group East reported this on Facebook.

Find more details on the theme in a publication by Defense Express:

Operational and Tactical Group East: Dozens Invaders, Tank, Over 20 Units of Enemy Equipment Eliminated in Eastern Ukraine

the invaders' ammunition warehouses were discovered and came under artillery fire, Defense Express
According to the report, the invaders' ammunition warehouses were discovered and came under artillery fire.
Read more: Day 67th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)