Day 67 of Putin's war. Zelensky confirms evacuation from Azovstal, another blast in Belgorod reported

A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a destroyed Russian military vehicle in Zaporizhzhia Oblast
A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a destroyed Russian military vehicle in Zaporizhzhia Oblast
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

1945: Another series of blasts have occurred in the Russian city of Belgorod, not far from the border with Ukraine, local media have reported.

The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov has said that a fire broke out on the territory of one of the facilities of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the border of three municipalities - Borisov and Belgorod districts and Yakovlev city district. Information about the victims and the destruction is being clarified.

This is the last one in the chain of mysterious blasts in Russia.

1823: Ukraine has started the evacuation of civilians from the AzovStal plant, the last Ukrainian stronghold in the Russian-occupied Mariupol, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a tweet.

"The first group of about 100 people is already heading to the controlled area. Tomorrow we’ll meet them in Zaporizhzhia. Grateful to our team! Now they, together with the UN, are working on the evacuation of other civilians from the plant," Zelensky wrote.

For weeks more than 1000 civilians along with about 2000 Ukrainian servicemen remained trapped in an underground shelter of AzovStal while the factory was constantly bombed by Russian invaders.

1629: Ukrainians return from the Russian captivity with diseases and wounds caused by numerous human rights violations and humiliation they had to face, Ukrainian Human Rights Ombudswoman Liudmyla Denisova has reported.

She said that Russians have been keeping Ukrainian POWs in inhuman conditions.

Among the Ukrainians released from captivity after prisoner swaps with Russia, many are severely injured. Some people have sepsis and amputated limbs.

The Russian occupiers poured water into the boots of Ukrainian prisoners and forced them to lie face down on the ground in the freezing cold for three or four days. In Russian prisons, Ukrainians had their hair cut. They were tortured, severely beaten, interrogated, and forced to learn "patriotic Russian songs" and perform them for guards.

Ukraine treats Russian POWs differently. Read a story of the Ukrainian YouTube blogger who interviewed dozens of the Russian prisoners of war.

Read also: Ukraine exchanges prisoners with Russia, 19 Ukrainians released, some wounded

1534: A railroad bridge has collapsed in Kursk Oblast of Russia, some 25 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

"Currently, special services are working on the spot to establish the causes of the emergency. The railway branch was used to move warehouses. There are no victims," Kursk governor Roman Starovoit wrote in a Telegram message.

1422: Russians shelled a farm in the Synelnikivsky district of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, wounding at least one person. A Russian rocket struck a warehouse with grain.

1357: Ukrainian authorities plan to evacuate civilians from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia today, Mariupol City Council has reported.

According to the statement, the evacuation will start today at 4 p.m.

"If you still have relatives or acquaintances in Mariupol, try to contact them in all possible ways. Call, write and say that it is possible to go to Zaporizhzhia, where it is safe. We pray that everything works, " Mariupol City Council said.

On April 30, 20 civilians were evacuated from the AzovStal factory territory, Azov Regiment has reported.

1246: Russians were preparing a terror attack on the territory of Belarus or Russia. They aimed to shoot down a civilian flight using Stinger MANPADs and blame Ukraine, the SBU security service of Ukraine has reported.

SBU claimed it has prevented the planned terror attack as it has detained a group of Russian saboteurs trying to get portative missile launchers Stinger from Ukrainian soldiers. The group of saboteurs infiltrated the Ukrainian volunteer society.

The saboteur group consisted of two people with dual citizenship and an accomplice they had recruited. Their activities were coordinated by Alexander Tyuterev, who is a staff member of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and has the call sign "Marine".

He ordered the enemy agents to establish contacts with representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine under the guise of patriotic volunteers.

In order to form "trusting" relations, they provided the Ukrainian military with reliable information on the positions and movements of the occupation units of the so-called "Kadyrovites".

Saboteurs wanted to use the established connections and trust to get Stingers.

SBU claims it uncovered and detained all the members of the saboteur group.

1239: Russian invading forces shelled nitrate fertilizer warehouses in Mykolaiv Oblast, local authorities have reported.

"The occupiers attacked Ukrainian fertilizers," Mykolaiv Governor Vitaly Kim has reported on Telegram.

Later he reported the orange toxic cloud turned white and that the air in the oblast was clean.

Orange toxic smoke caused by the Russian bombing of nitrate fertilizer warehouses in Mykolaiv Oblast <span class="copyright">Vitaly Kim/telegram</span>
Orange toxic smoke caused by the Russian bombing of nitrate fertilizer warehouses in Mykolaiv Oblast Vitaly Kim/telegram

Morning digest

Ukrainian forces have hit the Russian positions near Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast, destroying hundreds of invaders. Russian major general Andrei Simonov was also reportedly destroyed in yesterday's Ukrainian attack on a command point of the Russians near Izyum.

Overnight Ukrainians also destroyed 42 Russians on Zmiiny Island in the Black Sea.

Read also: Day 66 of Putin's war. Ukraine destroys enemy command post near Izyum, Russians fire on two evacuation buses near Popasna

In the morning US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Kyiv and met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"President Zelensky conveyed the need for continued security, economic & humanitarian assistance from the U. S. & our delegation delivered the message that additional American support is on the way, as we work to transform US President's funding request into a legislative package," Pelosi said in a Twitter feed.

Meanwhile, Russian invaders keep attacking Ukraine in Luhansk Oblast. About 70 percent of Zolote village was destroyed. Russians attack Orikhove village. One civilian was killed.

The occupiers have been preparing an offensive on Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih.