War in Ukraine: Latest developments

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Thousands have been killed in Ukraine since Russia invaded in February (AFP/Yasuyoshi CHIBA) (Yasuyoshi CHIBA)
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Putin hails 'liberation' of Mariupol -

Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announces that Moscow now controls all of the strategically important port city of Mariupol, apart from the vast Azovstal steel plant where Ukrainian troops are holding out.

President Vladimir Putin hails the city's "liberation" and orders the military to refrain from storming the plant, telling them instead to surround it, "so that not even a fly can escape."

Up to 2,000 civilians are sheltering at the complex with no access to food and drinking water, according to Ukrainian authorities.

Four buses carrying evacuees from Mariupol made it out of the city on Wednesday, according to Kyiv.

- Over 1,000 bodies in Kyiv area -

The bodies of 1,020 civilians have been collected from the streets and buildings in the wider Kyiv region since Russian forces withdrew from the area late last month, Ukraine's deputy prime minister for European integration tells AFP.

The Russian withdrawal left a trail of civilian deaths that have fuelled accusations of war crimes and even genocide.

In the latest grim discovery, police say they have found the bodies of nine civilians, some showing signs of torture, in the town of Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv.

- Google fined for Ukraine videos -

A Russian court fines Google 11 million rubles ($135,000) for failing to take down contentious YouTube videos alleging heavy Russian military losses in Ukraine.

One of the videos claims that Russian soldiers who were trying to retreat in the face of Ukrainian counter-attacks were shot by their own side, according to Russian state media.

- Le Pen 'dependent' on Putin -

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is seeking a second term in an election runoff on Sunday, accuses his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in a TV debate of being 'dependent' on Russia and Putin.

Macron cites a loan Le Pen's party contracted with a Russian bank in 2015.

Le Pen, who has pushed for closer ties with Russia, says she borrowed from Russia because no French bank would give her a loan.

- More European leaders in Kyiv -

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen are the latest European leaders to travel to Kyiv to show support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

On Wednesday, visiting EU chief Charles Michel told Zelensky the EU would do "everything possible" to help Ukraine win the war. The leaders of Britain, Poland and the Baltic states have also visited Kyiv in recent weeks.

- Russia snubbed at G20 -

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen leads a multi-nation walkout of a G20 finance meeting during an address by Russian officials.

Russia was the target of a similar protest last month at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

- UNESCO meeting postponed -

A meeting of the UN cultural agency's World Heritage Committee scheduled to take place in Russia in June has been postponed indefinitely, a senior source at Paris-based UNESCO tells AFP.

The meeting had been due to take place in the city of Kazan from June 19 to 30.

- Wimbledon ban -

Wimbledon bans Russian and Belarusian players from this year's Grand Slam tennis tournament over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which runs Wimbledon, says the move aims to "limit Russia's global influence through the strongest means possible".

- Over five million refugees -

More than five million Ukrainians have now fled their country since Russia invaded on February 24, the United Nations says.

But there is also growing movement in the opposite direction, with over one million returning, according to a spokesman for Kyiv's border force.

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