Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 70 of the invasion

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  • Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed 156 people who were successfully evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol arrived in Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday.“Today 156 people arrived in Zaporizhzhia. Women and children. They have been in shelters for more than two months,” he said. Another 200 civilians are still trapped under the complex and approximately 100,000 remain in the city, Mariupol’s mayor, Vadym Boichenko, said. Russian troops continued to shell and attempted to storm the Azovstal steelworks in violation of ceasefire agreements, the president said.

  • Russian attacks in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region killed 21 civilians and injured 27 on Tuesday, according to the regional governor. In a Telegram post, Pavlo Kyrylenko said it was the highest daily death toll in the region since an assault on a railway station in the town of Kramatorsk, which killed 50 people last month.

  • Power substations in Lviv were hit by Russian missiles on Tuesday evening, according to the city’s mayor. The strike reportedly injured one person, Andriy Sadovyi said.

  • The EU sanctions intent on breaking “the Russian war machine” are now imminent, the president of the European Council has said. A proposal to phase in a prohibition on Russian oil imports will be discussed by member state ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday, with the most dependent, such as Slovakia and Hungary, seeking exemptions. EU officials handed over a draft sanctions plan to member states late on Tuesday, but divisions in the legally and diplomatically fraught negotiations continue as some member states seek sanctions opt-outs.

  • UK prime minister Boris Johnson said “Ukraine will win” against Russia and “will be free” in an address to the Ukrainian parliament virtually on Tuesday. Johnson was the first world leader to address the Verkhovna Rada since the conflict began.

  • Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has passed a law that bans political parties that justify, recognise or deny Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine. The law will also ban parties who glorify or justify the actions of those carrying out armed aggression against Ukraine.

  • Russian president Vladimir Putin told France’s president Emmanuel Macron that “western countries could help stop the crimes of the Ukrainian military”. Putin is also reported to have told Macron about the Russian approach to negotiations with Kyiv.

  • Putin also signed a decree on retaliatory economic sanctions against the west. According to Reuters, the sanctions are in response to the “unfriendly actions of certain foreign states and international organisations”, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. The names of individuals or entities affected by the measures are not included on the document.

  • Germany’s opposition leader travelled to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian officials, after the country’s chancellor, Olaf Scholz, made clear he would not be visiting Ukraine any time soon.

  • Moscow accused Israel of backing the “neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv”. The remarks are the latest in Russia’s diplomatic row with Israel, after the Kremlin’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said on Monday that Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood”.

  • US president Joe Biden visited a factory in Troy, Alabama, where arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin makes anti-tank Javelin missiles. He lauded the “rapid pace” of military equipment and aid from the US to Ukraine in the two months since Russia initiated the war.

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is inflicting damage to the country’s infrastructure at a cost of $4.5bn (£3.6bn) a week. According to estimates compiled by the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), the damage has reached $92bn since the invasion began in February.

  • Men and boys are among the alleged victims of rape by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, where dozens of cases of sexual violence by the invading forces are already under investigation, UN and Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday. Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, accused Russia of using rape as a war tactic, and described president Vladimir Putin as “the main war criminal of the 21st century”.

  • Pope Francis has said he requested a meeting Putin over Ukraine and compared the scale of the bloodshed to Rwanda’s genocide. Questioning the conflict’s causes, the pope spoke of an “anger” in the Kremlin which could have been “facilitated” by “the barking of Nato at Russia’s door”.

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