Progress of Russia’s military campaign in eastern Ukraine is slow due to ‘stiff Ukrainian resistance’, Pentagon says.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked the UN chief for help save people in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant.
- Pentagon says recent Russian strikes in western Ukraine were aimed at critical infrastructure.
- Russia says its forces will halt hostilities at the Azovstal steel plant and open a humanitarian corridor for civilians for three days.
- Ukraine’s far-right Azov regiment says Ukrainians are fighting “bloody battles” in Mariupol.
Here are all the latest updates:
Russia ‘already lost the war’, White House says
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said that Russia “already lost the war in Ukraine.”
Pressed by a reporter to define what victory looked like for Ukraine, Psaki instead said Russian President Vladimir Putin had failed in his own objectives by invading the neighbor country.
“He wanted this to be a moment to divide NATO, to divide the west,” Psaki said. “Clearly that is not what is happening.”
Sweden says it received US assurances should it seek to join NATO
Sweden has received assurances from the United States that it would get support during the period a potential application to join NATO is processed by the 30 nations in the alliance, Foreign Minister Ann Linde has said.
Sweden and its neighbor Finland stayed out of NATO during the Cold War, but Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its invasion of Ukraine have led the countries to rethink their security policies, with NATO membership looking more likely.
“Naturally, I’m not going to go into any details, but I feel very sure that now we have an American assurance,” Linde told Swedish TV from Washington after meeting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Russian strikes in western Ukraine aimed at critical infrastructure: Pentagon
Pentagon Russian Spokesman John Kirby has said recent strikes in western Ukraine were aimed at critical infrastructure sites.
“They are attempting to hit what we assess to be critical infrastructure targets out towards the west – electrical power, transportation hubs, that kind of thing. We think this is an effort to try to disrupt the Ukrainians’ ability to replenish and reinforce themselves,” Kirby told reporters.
“Particularly these most recent strikes, we are still assessing the degree to which they hit what they were targeting. They are not good at precision strikes. They are not discriminant with how they target.”
Far-right Azov regiment says Ukrainians fighting ‘bloody battles’ in Mariupol
Ukrainian forces inside Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant are fighting “difficult bloody battles” against Russian troops for a second day, the commander of the far-right Azov regiment has said.
“I am proud of my soldiers who are making superhuman efforts to contain the pressure of the enemy … the situation is extremely difficult,” commander Denis Prokopenko said in a brief video message released on Telegram.
Russia meeting ‘stiff’ resistance in eastern Ukraine, US says
The Russian military has not been able to advance as far into the Donbas region of Ukraine as planned due to Ukrainian resistance, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has said.
“Russians have not made the kind of progress in the Donbas and in the south that we believe they wanted to make. And we do believe it’s been slow. And at every turn they have met a stiff Ukrainian resistance,” Kirby told a media briefing at the Pentagon.
“What we’re focused on is making sure that resistance remains as stiff as possible.”
Russia says it will halt fighting at Mariupol plant for civilian evacuation
Russia has said its forces would halt hostilities at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and open a humanitarian corridor for civilians for three days beginning on Thursday.
“The Russian armed forces will from 8am to 6pm [Moscow time] on May 5, 6 and 7 open a humanitarian corridor from the territory of the Azov metallurgical plant to evacuate civilians,” the defense ministry said.
Zelenskyy asks UN chief for help save people in Azovstal steel plant
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for help saving people trapped in the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, his office said in a statement.
“The lives of the people who remain there are in danger. Everyone is important to us. We ask for your help in saving them,” the statement quoted Zelenskyy as saying.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read the updates from Wednesday, May 4.