(CNN) — Sixty people are feared dead after an airstrike on Saturday at a school in the Luhansk region where 90 people were sheltering, according to a local official. As rescuers demolish the rubble “as quickly as possible”, the head of the Luhansk regional military administration, Serhiy Hayday, said the chances of finding anyone alive, beyond the 27 survivors already rescued, are “very small”. “.
Here are the latest developments:
Bombing the Luhansk School Refuge
The bodies of two people were found in the rubble of a school building where 90 people were sheltering in Luhansk, Hayday said in a Telegram post on Sunday. There are 27 survivors, according to Hayday, and “most likely 60 people have died.” He added that heavy fighting overnight had disrupted the rescue operation.
Jill Biden makes an unexpected trip to Ukraine
US First Lady Jill Biden spent part of Mother’s Day making an unannounced trip to Uzhhorod, Ukraine, a small city in the far south-west of Ukraine, a country that for the past 10 weeks has been under invasion of Russia.
In a converted school that now serves as temporary housing for displaced citizens, Biden met with Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, who has not been seen in public since the beginning of the invasion on February 24.
“I wanted to come on Mother’s Day,” Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart, the two women sitting at a small table in a classroom of a former school that is now a source of temporary housing for displaced Ukrainians, including 48 children. . “We thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to end. And this war has been brutal.” Biden added: “The people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.”
Azovstal rescue operation
All women, children and the elderly were evacuated from Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant complex, the Ukrainian government said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his government is now preparing for the second stage of the evacuation mission, focusing on “the wounded and the doctors.” They are also working to evacuate Ukrainian military personnel from the plant, which has been blockaded by Russian forces. Zelensky said the government will try to establish humanitarian corridors for all residents of Mariupol and surrounding settlements on Sunday.
Biden tweets a photo of a virtual meeting with G7 leaders and Zelensky
US President Joe Biden met virtually with G7 leaders on Sunday and tweeted a photo from the call.
Today, I spoke with G7 Leaders and President Zelenskyy about our ironclad unity and commitment to keep strengthening Ukraine and ratcheting up the pain on Putin. pic.twitter.com/15FYYnfueS
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 8, 2022
With a close examination of the tweeted G7 photo, one can also make out Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in the frame with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In a joint statement early Sunday, G7 members confirmed that Zelensky would participate in Sunday’s call, while Trudeau’s office confirmed that the Canadian prime minister would meet Zelensky in Ukraine.
The mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, urged citizens to “be vigilant” and stay indoors from Sunday to Monday, around Russia’s symbolic annual “Victory Day.” Western officials have warned that Putin could formally declare war on May 9, allowing him to step up his campaign and mobilize reserves.
combat in the black sea
Both the Russian and Ukrainian militaries have scored successes in what appears to be ongoing fighting in the Black Sea, and especially on the Russian-occupied Snake Island. Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the military administration of the Odessa region, said on Sunday that some 40 Russian soldiers had been killed. The Russian Defense Ministry gave a very different version of events, stating that he shot down several Ukrainian planes and drones.
Justin Trudeau met with Zelensky in Kyiv
At a joint press conference on Sunday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the reopening of the Canadian embassy in Kyiv.
Trudeau also announced that more military assistance will be provided to Ukraine, including drone cameras, satellite imagery, small arms, ammunition, and funding for demining operations.
The Canadian Prime Minister also announced that Canada will remove trade tariffs on all Ukrainian imports arriving in Canada over the next year.
“It is clear that Vladimir Putin is responsible for heinous war crimes and there must be accountability,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau’s comments came during a surprise weekend visit to Ukraine announced by his office on Sunday morning.
Azovstal steel mill remains under Russian siege
The Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol is under “constant and intense shelling” by Russian forces trying to take the last remaining stronghold in the port city, according to the Azov brigade, which held an online press conference from a hideout. inside the plant.
The Russians attack with “artillery, tanks, mortars, infantry and snipers,” according to the soldiers.
One of them, Illia Samoilenko, said that Russian troops have “reached a barrier very close to the positions of the Azov regiment.” The Ukrainian fighters’ supplies are “limited,” but they still have enough water and ammunition to withstand the attack, he said.
“We still have ammunition, we still have personal weapons and we will fight until the best resolution of this situation,” Samoilenko said.
More than 2,000 visa restrictions against Russian and Belarusian military officials
The US State Department on Sunday announced visa restrictions on more than 2,000 Russian and Belarusian military officers for violations related to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is a new visa restriction policy targeting Russian officials for human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law and corruption in Ukraine. The department also announced sanctions on eight Russian sea-related companies, including the Russian Defense Ministry’s shipping company for their involvement in Russia’s “illegal seizure and occupation of Ukraine,” adding 69 vessels to the department’s list. US Treasury
With information from Keith Allen, Anastasia Graham Yooll, Julia Kesaieva, DJ Judd.