Here are the key events so far on Thursday, May 19.
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- Russia’s defence ministry said 771 Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol had surrendered in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 1,730, RIA reported on Thursday. The ministry said 80 of the fighters were wounded.
- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine is determined to reclaim control over the southern cities of Kherson, Melitopol, Berdiansk, Enerhodar and Mariupol, now occupied by Russian troops.
- Ukraine’s fighters blew up an armoured train carrying Russian troops, Ukraine’s territorial defence force said, but an adviser to Zelenskyy later said the attack had been confined to rails near the train.
- Russia has fired more than 2,000 missiles in Ukraine since the full-scale invasion began, Zelenskyy said.
- Four people were killed in shelling by Russian forces in Severodonetsk, the governor of the Luhansk region said.
- Russian forces shelled Zelenodolsk village of the Dnepropetrovsk region, leaving many residents without electricity, the regional governor said.
- Russian authorities said they plan to destroy Azovstal after capturing it and turn Mariupol into a “resort city”, the Institute for the Study of War reported.
- Russia said it will start using a new generation of powerful lasers in Ukraine to destroy drones. Zelenskyy mocked Russia’s “wonder weapons” and said it “clearly shows the complete failure of the mission”.
- Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman said at least 231 children have died and 427 were injured since February 24.
- Russia has been carrying out “apparent war crimes” including executions, torture, and other abuses, according to Human Rights Watch.
- A Russian soldier facing the first Ukrainian war crimes trial since Russia’s invasion pleaded guilty to killing an unarmed civilian.
- The US reopened its embassy in Kyiv, nearly three months after closing it and withdrawing diplomats shortly before the Russian invasion.
- Ukraine will not compromise with Russia and will not give up any territory, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Zelenskyy, said.
- Russia expelled 85 diplomats and staff from the embassies of France, Italy and Spain in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats.
- Other countries may be dragged directly into the war if it continues affecting states bordering Russia, the head of Ukraine’s president’s office Andriy Yermak said.
- US Pentagon officials are discussing with Sweden and Finland their security needs for NATO membership, AP reported.
- US President Joe Biden said the NATO membership bids by Sweden and Finland would be successful, despite objections raised by Turkey to their applications.
- Croatia President Zoran Milanovic said his government must not ratify Finland and Sweden’s ascension to NATO until Bosnia and Herzegovina is persuaded to change its electoral law.
- Treasury secretary Janet Yellen said that the US does not have the legal authority to seize Russian central bank assets frozen due to the invasion. Some European Union officials are advocating seizing about $300bn in Russian central bank foreign currency assets frozen by sanctions to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction.
- Google’s Russian subsidiary The Alphabet Inc announced plans to file for bankruptcy after its bank account was seized by Russian authorities over the company’s failure to delete content Moscow deems illegal and for restricting access to some Russian media on YouTube.
- The US, several global development banks and other groups revealed a multibillion-dollar plan to address a worldwide food security crisis amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.
- The US announced $215m in emergency food assistance for Ukraine.
- Japan announced the doubling of aid to Ukraine to $600m, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
- Australia is sending Ukraine additional military equipment, taking the nation’s contribution to Kyiv’s war effort to more than 285 million Australian dollars ($199m), The Australian newspaper reported.
- The World Bank said it will make $30bn available to help stem the food security crisis triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
- The European Commission will provide Ukraine with a 9 billion euro ($9.5bn) macro-financial aid and recovery programme.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies