Latest developments in Ukraine: 18 May

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Recent developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT:

02:00: In its latest intelligence report on the battlefield on Wednesday, the British Ministry of Defense said that “strong Ukrainian resistance delayed Russia’s ability to gain full control of” Mariupol despite having surrounded the city for over ten weeks. “This frustrated me [Russia’s] “Early attempts to conquer a key city and caused costly personnel losses among Russian forces,” the ministry said.

01:20: A Ukrainian court held a preliminary hearing on Friday in the first war crimes trial that took place after the Russian invasion on February 24, after accusing a captured Russian soldier of the murder of a 62-year-old civilian.

The Ukrainian Public Prosecutor’s Office said the defendant was a 21-year-old tank commander in the Kantemirovskaya tank division from the Moscow region. Prior to the hearing, the public prosecutor had published a photograph of him. The defendant identified himself as Vadim Shishimarin and confirmed that he was a Russian soldier.

Prosecutors said Shishimarin and four other soldiers stole a car after their convoy was attacked. While traveling near the village of Shupakhivka in the region, they met the man on a bicycle.

“One of the soldiers ordered the accused to kill the civilian so that he would not condemn them,” the prosecutor’s office said.

In a video released earlier this month by authorities announcing his arrest, Shishimarin said he had come to fight in Ukraine to “support his mother financially”.

The court will meet again on May 18, the judge said.

01:15: Finland’s lawmakers on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly for the country to join NATO through a 188-12 vote, marking a dramatic turnaround in Finland’s military freedom of policy dating back more than 75 years. has the video:

12:30: The fall of the Ukrainian port of Mariupol to Russia seemed imminent on Tuesday as Ukraine moved to abandon the city’s vast steelworks, and hundreds of warriors held there surrendered to Russian forces in an agreement reached by the warring parties.

The conquest of Mariupol, a pre-war city of 430,000 people along the north shore of the of ​​Azov, would be Moscow’s greatest success in its nearly three-month offensive against Ukraine. But Russia is struggling to conquer more territory in eastern Ukraine and has failed to overthrow President Volodymyr Zelensky’s or seize the capital Kyiv. VOA’s national security correspondent Jeff Seldin reports.

During constant Russian shelling, which Ukraine estimates has killed 20,000 civilians in Mariupol, much of the city has been reduced to rubble. What remains of it lies between the Russian mainland and the Crimean peninsula, which Russia took from Ukraine in 2014.

More than 260 Ukrainian fighter jets – some of them seriously damaged and lying on stretchers – left the ruins of the Azovstal steelworks on Monday and surrendered to Russian forces. Ukrainian authorities said they were working to remove its remaining troops from the steel plant, but it was not clear how many remained.

Russia called the operation a mass surrender. The Ukrainians, on the other hand, said that its garrison had completed its mission.

12:01: In an interview with the VOA’s Ukranian Service on Tuesday, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko spoke about the courage of Ukrainian forces defending the once thriving southeastern port, which was besieged by Russian artillery for 82 days.

“There is still a Ukrainian flag over Mariupol. And they did it against the existing powers [a] a dozen times stronger. They worked professionally, almost without food or water. Without [much] weapons, “said Boychenko.

He praised Denys Prokopenko, commander of the Azov Special Regiment, who was in charge of defense and others who supported Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion.

“They not only held Mariupol, but they have held back an incredible force of 20-30 professional Russian soldiers,” Boychenko said. “It has allowed the other [Ukrainian] military groups, other cities to better prepare for this war. “

Screenshot of Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko during a video interview with VOA's Ukrainian service. Screenshot of Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko during a video interview with VOA’s Ukrainian service.

Some information in this report came from and Agence -Presse.

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