US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Sunday led a Congressional delegation to Kyiv to meet with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy before heading to Poland for talks with officials.
Pelosi, second in line to the presidency after the vice president, is the highest-ranking American leader to visit Ukraine since the start of the war on February 24, and her visit marks a major show of continuing support for the country’s struggle against Russia. “Our delegation travelled to Kyiv to send an unmistakable and resounding message to the entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine,” Pelosi said in a statement released Sunday.
Here are some key updates:
➡️ Some women and children were evacuated from a steel plant that is the last defensive stronghold in the bombed-out ruins of the port city of Mariupol, a Ukrainian official and Russian state news organisations said, but hundreds are believed to remain trapped with little food or water.
➡️ Russia’s defence ministry said shelling by Ukraine’s forces of villages in the Kherson region has killed and injured civilians, the Russian RIA news agency reported. The ministry said Ukrainian forces shelled a school, a kindergarten and a cemetery in the villages of Kyselivka and Shyroka Balka. It gave no information on how many people were killed or injured, or when the shelling took place.
➡️ Russia’s defence ministry said it had struck at weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States and European countries and destroyed a runway at a military airfield near the Ukrainian city of Odesa. The ministry said it used high-precision Onyx missiles to strike the airfield, after Ukraine accused Russia of knocking out a newly constructed runway at the main airport of Odesa. Odesa regional governor Maksym Marchenko said Russia had used a Bastion missile, launched from Crimea. Russia’s defence ministry also said its air defence systems had shot down two Ukrainian Su-24m bombers over the Kharkiv region overnight.
➡️ Satellite photos analysed by The Associated Press show damage to oil depots just across the Ukrainian border in Russia after suspected Ukrainian attacks. The photos from Saturday show damage at two sites in Bryansk. The blasts damaged multiple tanks, leaving the surrounding grounds charred. The explosions happened Monday. One hit an oil depot owned by Transneft-Druzhba, a subsidiary of the Russian state-controlled company Transneft that operates the western-bound Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline carrying crude oil to Europe. The second facility is a short distance from the other.
➡️ The United Nations has been working to broker an evacuation of the up to 1,000 civilians living beneath the sprawling Soviet-era Azovstal plant in Mariupol after numerous previous attempts failed. Ukraine has not said how many fighters are also in the plant, the only part of Mariupol not occupied by Russian forces, but Russia put the number at about 2,000. An estimated 100,000 civilians remain in the city.
➡️ Hollywood actress and UN humanitarian Angelina Jolie made a surprise visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, the Lviv regional governor said on Telegram. According to Maksym Kozytskyy, Jolie – who has been a UNHCR Special Envoy for Refugees since 2011 – had come to speak with displaced people who have found refuge in Lviv, including children undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in the missile strike on the Kramatorsk railway station in early April. “She was very moved by (the children’s) stories,” Kozytskyy wrote. “One girl was even able to privately tell Ms. Jolie about a dream she’d had.” He said Jolie also visited a boarding school, talk with students and took photos with them, adding “she promised she would come again”.
With inputs from agencies