In Kyiv, residents cautiously return and embrace a renewed sense of normalcy

Russia Ukraine War top developments: Hungary’s refusal to join EU sanctions, Russia’s stance on nuclear weapons, and more

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Russia will not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, foreign ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev said Friday. Zaitsev told reporters the use of nuclear weapons by Russia — a risk that Western officials have publicly discussed — was not applicable to what Moscow calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

CIA director William Burns said on April 14 that given the setbacks Russia had suffered in Ukraine, “none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons.”

Defenders inside Ukrainian steel mill refuse to surrender 

Ukrainian fighters battling Russian forces in the tunnels beneath Mariupol’s immense steel plant refused to surrender in the face of relentless attacks, with the wife of one commander saying they had vowed to “stand till the end.”

Smoke rises above a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine on May 2, 2022. (Reuters)

The fight in the last Ukrainian stronghold of the strategic port city reduced to ruins by the Russian onslaught appeared increasingly desperate amid growing speculation that President Vladimir Putin wants to present the Russian people with a battlefield triumph — or announce an escalation of the war — in time for Victory Day on Monday.

US gave intel before Ukraine sank Russian warship, says official

The US said it shared intelligence with Ukraine about the location of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva prior to the strike that sank the warship, an incident that was a high-profile failure for Russia’s military. An American official said Thursday that Ukraine alone decided to target and sink the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet using its own anti-ship missiles.

Putin apologised for Russian Minister’s controversial remarks on Holocaust, says Israel PM

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he accepted an apology from Russian President Vladimir Putin over controversial remarks about the Holocaust made by Moscow’s top diplomat. There was no mention of an apology in the Russian statement on the call.

Russia Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Via Reuters)

An Israeli statement said the two leaders spoke by phone Thursday and also discussed plans to evacuate civilians from a besieged steel plant in the port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine.

Here are the key updates on the war and its impact across the world:

➡️ Ukraine said a new attempt was underway on Friday to evacuate scores of civilians trapped in a heavily bombed steelworks in the city of Mariupol, after bloody fighting with Russian forces thwarted efforts to bring them to safety the previous day.

➡️ Russian forces in Ukraine’s port of Mariupol continued their ground assault on the Azovstal steel plant for a second day, British military intelligence said.

➡️ Russia’s defence ministry said its missiles destroyed a large ammunition depot in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. It also said its air defences shot down two Ukrainian warplanes, an Su-25 and a MiG-29, in the eastern Luhansk region.

➡️ Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has devastated hundreds of hospitals and other medical institutions and left doctors without drugs to tackle cancer or the ability to perform surgery, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

➡️ Hungary cannot support the European Union’s new sanctions package against Russia in its current form, including an embargo on Russian crude oil imports, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.

➡️ US President Joe Biden said he would speak with leaders from the G7 advanced economies this week about more sanctions.

➡️ Germany will deliver seven self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, on top of five howitzers the Dutch already pledged, German Defence Minister Lambrecht said.

(Compiled from Reuters and Associated Press updates)

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