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Ukraine is hoping to send 90 buses to the besieged Mariupol to evacuate about 6,000 women, children and elderly people, the city’s mayor has announced on national television.
Mayor Vadym Boichenko, who has left Mariupol, said he hoped a preliminary agreement with Russia on establishing a safe corridor would be firmed up and hold. He said about 100,000 civilians remained in Mariupol and that tens of thousands had been killed in the Russian siege of the city on the Sea of Azov.
Russia has staged unsuccessful attempts to storm the towns of Rubizhne and Sievierodonetsk in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, the Ukrainian General Staff of the Armed Forces has said.
“After the storming attempts by the Russian occupiers in Rubizhne and Sievierodonetsk, 130 injured soldiers of the enemy were admitted to the local hospital in Novoaidar,” the general staff said in its situation report.
In addition, the Ukrainian military leadership reported Russian attacks near the small town of Izyum in the Kharkiv region and heavy fighting around Marinka, Popasna, Torske, Zelena Dolyna and Kreminna.
The pro-Russian separatists had previously reported that they had gained control of Kreminna. The reports cannot be independently verified.
A growing majority of Swedes are in favour of joining NATO, a poll has shown, as policy-makers in both Sweden and Finland weigh up whether Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should lead to an end to decades of military neutrality.
The March poll was the first to show a majority of Swedes in favour of joining NATO.
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