Humanitarian organisations worked to evacuate more civilians from the devastated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol but hundreds of people remained trapped in the Azovstal steel works, the last stronghold of resistance to the Russian siege.
* A Russian rocket strike hit a strategically important bridge across the Dniester estuary in the Odesa region of southwest Ukraine, authorities said.
* Russia’s defence ministry said it had carried out a missile strike on a military airfield near the port city of Odesa, destroying a runway and a hangar containing Western-supplied weapons and ammunition.
* Ukraine has formally closed its four Black and Azov sea ports, which Russian forces have captured, the Ukrainian agriculture ministry said. The Azov Sea ports of Mariupol, Berdiansk and Skadovsk and the Black Sea port of Kherson were closed “until the restoration of control”, the ministry said.
* A Ukrainian Bayraktar drone destroyed two Russian Raptor-class patrol ships in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s military chief said.
* Russia’s defence ministry accused Ukraine’s forces of shelling a school, kindergarten and cemetery in villages in the occupied southern Kherson region, the Russian RIA news agency said. There was no immediate response from Ukraine.
Reuters could not immediately verify reports of battlefield developments.
* Buses seeking to evacuate more civilians from Mariupol have not yet reached the agreed pickup point, the city council said, contradicting an earlier report that they had left the devastated port city in southeast Ukraine.
* Cowering in the labyrinth of Soviet-era bunkers far beneath the vast Azovstal steel works, Natalia Usmanova felt her heart would stop she was so terrified as Russian bombs rained down on Mariupol, sprinkling her with concrete dust. She spoke to Reuters after being evacuated from the plant.
* Israel denounced Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for suggesting that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish origins, saying his comments were anti-Semitic and dangerous.
* Britain’s Foreign Office said Russia is using a troll factory to spread disinformation about the war on social media and target politicians across a number of countries including Britain and South Africa.
* Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre cancelled a series of shows this week by directors who have spoken out against the war in Ukraine.
The theatre gave no reason for dropping Timofey Kuliabin’s production of the opera “Don Pasquale” and Kirill Serebrennikov’s ballet “Nureyev”.
BUSINESS AND THE ECONOMY
* Poland is ready to help Germany wean itself off Russian oil, its climate minister said, adding that she hoped a European Union embargo could come into force before the end of the year.
* EU energy ministers were set to hold emergency talks, as the bloc strives for a united response to Moscow’s demand that European buyers pay for Russian gas in roubles or face their supply being cut off.
* Germany would be able to weather an EU embargo on Russian oil imports by the end of this year even though a stoppage could result in shortages, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said, appearing to throw his weight behind a ban.
* ”I don’t even want to speak about what’s happening with the people living in Popasna, Rubizhne and Novotoshkivske right now,” said Luhansk regional Governor Serhiy Gaidai. “These cities simply don’t exist anymore. They have completely destroyed them.”