War in Ukraine: Latest developments

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·3-min read
Biden says a new package of $800 million in US military aid will help Ukraine in the fight against Russian forces (AFP/Genya SAVILOV) (Genya SAVILOV)
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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 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."

Ukraine calls for a humanitarian corridor to be opened immediately to allow "hundreds" of civilians and wounded fighters to be evacuated from the plant.

US President Joe Biden says it is "questionable" whether Russia had taken control of Mariupol, saying: "There is no evidence yet that Mariupol has completely fallen."

- Evacuee buses arrive -

Three school buses filled with evacuees from Mariupol arrive in Zaporizhzhia after crossing through territory held by Russian forces, AFP correspondents see.

- US military aid -

Biden announces a new package of $800 million in military aid for Ukraine, saying it will help Ukraine fight against Russian forces in the eastern Donbas region.

The latest round of US support will include 72 155mm howitzers, 72 armoured vehicles to tow them, 144,000 rounds of ammunition, and more than 120 "Phoenix Ghost" tactical drones recently developed specifically to address Ukraine's needs.

Biden says Putin will "never succeed in dominating and occupying all of Ukraine".

The United States will also provide Ukraine with a new $500 million infusion of aid to help the government in Kyiv pay salaries, pensions and providing services, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says.

- Zelensky ups war bill -

President Volodymyr Zelensky tells the leaders of the IMF and World Bank that Ukraine needs $7 billion a month to function amid the devastating "economic losses" inflicted by Russia.

That is an increase from Kyiv's previous estimate of $5 billion in monthly needs.

- Spain sends weapons, Germany weighs in -

Spain has shipped 200 tonnes of military equipment, including heavy transport vehicles and ammunition to Ukraine, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says during a visit to Kyiv.

And Germany has reached an agreement under which eastern European partners will supply Ukraine with a new batch of heavy weapons "in the next few days" and Germany will then replenish the stocks, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht says.

- 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, Ukrainian police say they have found the bodies of nine civilians, some showing signs of torture, in the town of Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv.

- Russia bans Harris, Zuckerberg -

Russia slaps a travel ban on US Vice President Kamala Harris, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and 27 other prominent Americans in retaliation for sanctions imposed over the Kremlin's military campaign in Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Ned Price says that he is honoured by the ban.

- Foster bids to rebuild Kharkiv -

British architect Norman Foster, known for restoring the German Reichstag and designing London's Millennium Bridge, has offered to help rebuild Ukraine's heavily war-damaged city of Kharkiv, his foundation says.

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