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Live Reporting

Edited by Tiffany Wertheimer

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage is moving

    An Azovstal steel plant employee hugs her son
    Image caption: Reuters saw civilians from Mariupol arriving in the Donetsk region earlier today

    We have moved our live page for technical reasons - please follow us at this webpage for all the latest.

    We leave you with some of Sunday's main developments:

    • Dozens of civilians have been evacuated from Mariupol to both Russia-controlled and Ukraine-controlled territory
    • Reuters reports seeing more than 50 Mariupol civilians arriving in Russian-controlled territory in Donetsk
    • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says a large group is also on its way to Ukrainian-controlled Zaporizhzhia
    • US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said "you cannot fold to a bully" when asked about US rhetoric and weapons supply during a visit to Kyiv
    • The Russian rouble will be used in Kherson from today, say Russia-backed forces that have taken control of the southern Ukrainian city
    • Ukraine’s state electricity operator Ukrenergo says it has restored reliable power to the Chernobyl exclusion zone
    • A fire broke out earlier at a Russian defence ministry site close to the Ukrainian border, says the governor of the Belgorod region, but it is not clear why
  2. Easter visits to loved ones' graves

    Ukrainians have been honouring dead friends and relatives, as is traditional on the first Sunday after Orthodox Easter.

    A mother comforts her son as they mourn their husband and father who according to her was a soldier killed by shelling
    Image caption: Alla Krotkikh comforts her 10-year-old son Savelii, as they mourn his father Ihor Krotkikh, 47, who she says was a soldier killed by shelling
    Anatolii and Olena, parents of a killed Ukrainian soldier Oleksandr Mozhaiko, grieve next to this grave on May 1, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine
    Image caption: Anatolii and Olena visit the grave of their son Oleksandr, a soldier, as part of the Easter tradition known as Hrobki or Provody
    Crosses and floral wreaths are seen in a cemetery in Irpin, outside Kyiv
    Image caption: Crosses and floral wreaths are seen in a cemetery in Irpin, outside Kyiv, which saw intense fighting earlier in the war
    People, including two athletes in wheelchairs, gather at a grave in Lviv
    Image caption: Disabled athletes were among those in Lviv mourning soldier Dmytro Sydoruk, who also coached soldiers with disabilities for the Invictus Games
    People visit Tairovske cemetery, where 51 graves been damaged and destroyed by a Russian missile strik
    Image caption: Mourners visit Tairovske Cemetery in Odesa, where graves have been damaged and destroyed by a Russian missile strike
  3. Soldiers' actions won't hinge on 9 May anniversary - Lavrov

    And now back to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who has said the upcoming anniversary of Russia's liberation at the end of World War II will not affect Russia's actions in Ukraine.

    Last week, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace predicted that Vladimir Putin was "rolling the pitch" for a major announcement to mark the historic 9 May "Victory Day".

    "Our soldiers won't base their actions on a specific date," Lavrov said when asked if the anniversary would be a turning point in the war.

    "We'll commemorate our victory in a solemn manner but the timing and speed of what is happening in Ukraine will hinge on the need to minimise risks for civilians and Russian solders," he added, speaking on Italian TV.

  4. In pictures: Mariupol civilians arrive in Bezimenne

    Azovstal steel plant employee Valeria, right, hugs her sister Aleksandra
    Image caption: Azovstal steel plant employee Valeria, right, hugs her sister Aleksandra

    Earlier we reported that Reuters had seen more than 50 civilians from the area near Azovstal in Mariupol arriving in the village of Bezimenne in the Donetsk Region.

    The news agency also said that UN staff were in the area.

    Images taken by Reuters show emotional reunions between civilians and their loved ones.

    Civilians who left the area near Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol look out of a bus
    Image caption: Civilians have arrived in Bezimenne, which is in Russian-controlled territory
    A woman is seen inside a bus before departing from a temporary accommodation centre
    Image caption: Mariupol has come under intense bombardment from Russian artillery for weeks
    Azovstal steel plant employee Natalia arrives at a temporary accommodation centre
    Image caption: Azovstal steel plant worker Natalia arrives at a temporary accommodation centre
  5. Western media misrepresent Russian nuclear threats - Lavrov

    Russia's foreign minister says the country has not blocked efforts to prevent nuclear war.

    "Western media misrepresent Russian threats," Sergei Lavrov said, speaking in Russian via an Italian interpreter on Italian TV.

    "Russia has never interrupted efforts to reach agreements that guarantee that a nuclear war never develops."

    Lavrov repeated Russia's claims that the country is motivated by guaranteeing security for pro-Russian Ukrainians in the east, and that it is fighting against Nazism in Ukraine.

    You can find out more about Russia's false claims about Nazism in Ukraine here.

  6. Denmark and Sweden accuse Russia of violating air space

    Denmark and Sweden have said a Russian spyplane has violated both countries' air space.

    Both are summoning Russian ambassadors over the incident.

    The Danish Defence Command told AFP the aircraft was a reconnaissance plane that was in Danish air space for "a very brief moment" and that Danish F-16 aircrafts "immediately intervened". It added that such incidents are rare.

    Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said the breach was "totally unacceptable and particularly worrying in the current situation".

    While Denmark is a member of Nato, Sweden is debating whether it should join the alliance.

    However, the Swedish defence minister told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper there was no proof that the incident was linked to these discussions.

  7. 'Do not lose vigilance' - Kharkiv regional head

    Sophie Williams

    Reporting from Lviv

    A destroyed building

    The head of Kharkiv's Regional State Administration has warned people to remain vigilant, despite the fact that Russian troops have “reduced the intensity of shelling”.

    Oleh Synyehubov shared images from the town of Dergachi, some 12km (seven miles) north west of Kharkiv, on Telegram.

    He said the photos showed the “consequences of prolonged shelling” on the town.

    Synyehubov also warned Kharkiv residents in the northern and eastern districts of the city to remain inside on Sunday due to shelling.

    A building in Dergachi that has been shelled
    A damaged car in Dergachi
  8. Fire at a Russian defence ministry site - Belgorod governor

    A fire broke out at a Russian defence ministry site close to the Ukrainian border, according to the governor of the Belgorod region.

    One person sustained minor injuries, Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram.

    The governor of another Russian region near the Ukrainian border, Kursk, said part of a freight railway bridge had collapsed, with no casualties.

    "It was sabotage, a criminal case has been opened. The authorities in charge of the investigation will resolve the issue," said governor Roman Starovoyt on Telegram, without naming Ukrainian forces.

    Russia has frequently accused Ukraine of attacks on its territory near to the border.

  9. No intent to surrender, Mariupol commander says

    Captain Palamar wears a green hat in this photo still
    Image caption: Captain Palamar seen in a video statement from 24 April

    Despite the news that 100 civilians are on their way from Mariupol's war-battered Azovstal steel plant to Ukrainian-held territory, one of the commanders there says many injured remain.

    "There are still wounded at the plant as well. They have not been evacuated yet, but we hope that they are going to be taken away from here. Their condition is serious, they need proper medical treatment, proper nutrition to recover," Captain Svyatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment, told the BBC.

    Food and water issues remained, he said, but those remaining are "trying to stretch out what we have for as long as possible".

    Aside from the hope for the remaining civilians to be evacuated, he said, "we are willing to fight back and do not intend to surrender".

    He said he hoped Ukrainian officials and the leaders of other countries would "do everything possible to evacuate our garrison from Mariupol".

  10. 'We didn't see the sun for so long'

    Natalia Usmanova buries her face in her hands
    Image caption: Natalia Usmanova, pictured, told Reuters: "You just can't imagine" life in Azovstal

    The first accounts of life in the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the Avozstal steelworks are starting to emerge.

    We reported earlier how Reuters news agency had spotted civilians stepping off the bus from Mariupol in the village of Bezimenne, in Russia-held parts of east Ukraine.

    One of them was 37-year-old Natalia Usmanova, who told the news agency what it was like when powerful bombs hit while she hid underground

    "I feared that the bunker would not withstand it - I had terrible fear," she said. "When the bunker started to shake, I was hysterical, my husband can vouch for that: I was so worried the bunker would cave in."

    "We didn't see the sun for so long," she added.

    "You just can't imagine what we have been through - the terror."

    "I lived there, worked there all my life, but what we saw there was just terrible."

  11. How Ukraine's 'Ghost of Kyiv' legendary pilot was born

    Laurence Peter

    BBC News

    Fighter plane

    Ukraine's fighter pilots are vastly outnumbered by the Russians, and have become legendary - thanks in part to the story of an alleged flying ace called "Ghost of Kyiv".

    This hero is said to have downed as many as 40 enemy planes - an incredible feat in an arena where Russia controls the skies.

    But now the Ukraine Air Force Command has warned on Facebook that the "Ghost of Kyiv is a superhero-legend whose character was created by Ukrainians!"

    "We ask the Ukrainian community not to neglect the basic rules of information hygiene," the message said, urging people to "check the sources of information, before spreading it".

    Earlier reports had named the ace as Major Stepan Tarabalka, 29. The authorities confirmed that he was killed in combat on 13 March and honoured with a Hero of Ukraine medal posthumously.

    Now, the air force stresses that "Tarabalka is not 'Ghost of Kiev', and he did not hit 40 planes".

    Read more here

  12. Chernobyl getting reliable power, Ukraine says

    A Ukrainian soldier guarding the Chernobyl plant, 26 Apr 22
    Image caption: A Ukrainian soldier guarding the Chernobyl plant

    Ukraine’s state electricity operator Ukrenergo says it has restored reliable power to the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the site of the 1986 nuclear accident.

    Ukrenergo says the last 330 kV power line has been reconnected there.

    Earlier, it says, another 330kV line came back on stream, north of Kyiv, which “made it possible to improve the reliability of power supply to the capital”.

    In a Facebook post, Ukrenergo CEO Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said the Russian military occupation of Chernobyl – which has now ended – had caused much disruption at Chernobyl.

    “After the departure of the Russians, our repairmen immediately after the sappers investigated dozens of kilometres of lines, restored the resistance and other equipment,” he said.

    An exclusion zone covering about 2,600 sq km (1,000 sq miles) was imposed around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the catastrophic explosion there in 1986.

  13. Relatives of Ukrainian soldiers wait for news from Azovstal steel plant

    Hugo Bachega

    Reporting from Dnipro

    Azovstal steel plant
    Image caption: Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers are trapped in the Azovstal steel plant

    The evacuation of civilians from Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant is a major, long-awaited development. About 1,000 of them have been sheltering in the vast network of underground tunnels and shelters, and concerns were growing about their conditions amid dwindling food and water supplies.

    A convoy departed to Mariupol on Friday but only now has official confirmation come in, first from the UN and the Red Cross, then from President Zelensky, a sign of how complex and delicate this operation is.

    Meanwhile, relatives of the hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who are also trapped in the steel plant, surrounded by Russian troops, are anxiously waiting for any operation that allows them to be able to flee in safety too.

    Here in Dnipro, I met the wife of an officer who is at the plant. She said she and other women were willing to go to Mariupol to secure a safe way out for their husbands.

  14. Angelina Jolie 'moved' by stories from child evacuees

    Sophie Williams

    Reporting from Lviv

    Angelina Jolie pictured with children in Lviv

    After a surprise visit to a Lviv coffee shop on Saturday, more details have been revealed about Angelina Jolie’s trip here.

    The actress met with a number of displaced Ukrainians including children who were injured in the attack on Kramatorsk railway station. At least 52 people were killed and dozens injured after rockets hit the station as people waited to board evacuation trains.

    Lviv's regional governor Maxim Kozytski confirmed Jolie's visit on Telegram, adding that "she was very moved by the children's stories".

    Jolie also met people at the city’s train station, including volunteers who were helping evacuees.

    Lviv, in the west of Ukraine, has become a hub for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing other parts of the country.

    Angelina Jolie meets a child at Lviv's railway station
  15. Evacuation from other parts of Mariupol postponed

    As well as the fighters and civilians trapped in the Azovstal steelworks in the southern city of Mariupol, there are also an estimated 100,000 residents in other parts of the city.

    They have been trying to survive without mains water, electricity or gas for weeks.

    Earlier we reported that Mariupol City Council had invited these residents to gather at a mall at 1600 local time (1300 GMT) as an evacuation could be possible on Sunday.

    But now the council has said in a post on Telegram that this evacuation has been postponed for security reasons until 0800 local time (0500 GMT) tomorrow.

    Mariupol map
  16. Evacuees from Mariupol handed to UN and Red Cross - Russia

    Evacuees from Mariupol who wanted to go to Ukrainian-controlled regions have been handed over to representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Reuters news agency reports citing Russia's defence ministry.

    The ministry says 80 civilians had been moved from the vast Azovstal plant after weeks under siege.

    The massive industrial area is the last hold-out of Ukrainian troops in the strategically significant city.

    Earlier Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said around 100 civilians have been evacuated from the besieged steel plant in southern Ukraine.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that the group is on its way to Zaporizhzhia, which Ukraine maintains control of.

  17. Our defenders were greeted with tears - Kharkiv military official

    Sophie Williams

    Reporting from Lviv

    The head of the military administration in Kharkiv has confirmed to the BBC that four settlements have been re-captured from the Russians.

    Oleg Sinegubov said Ukrainian soldiers have regained full control over Kutuzovka, Verkhyna Rohanka, Slobidske and Prelensne.

    “In Kutuzovka, about one hundred people, most of them elderly and children, lived in cold basements for two months without light, gas and food supplies,” Sinegubov said. “Today our defenders were greeted with tears”.

    But while the situation has somewhat improved for people in those regions, the shelling has continued, he said.

    Kharkiv, in Ukraine's north-east, was one of the places to come under early Russian assault.

    Kharkiv locator map
  18. First group of 100 people leaves Azovstal - Zelensky

    The Ukrainian president has tweeted that the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal steelworks in the southern city of Mariupol has begun, with a group of about 100 people the first to leave.

    He said they're expected to arrive in the town of Zaporizhzhia tomorrow.

    View more on twitter
  19. Satellite images capture damage to Avozstal steelworks

    Satellite image of Azovstal steelworks taken 29 March 2022

    Azovstal steelworks is the last pocket of refuge for Ukrainian soldiers and about 1,000 civilians in Mariupol, who are trapped in a vast network of underground shelters and tunnels with dwindling food, water and medical supplies.

    The sprawling industrial complex has seen heavy Russian artillery and aerial bombardment in recent days, according to the Institute for War Studies.

    These satellite photos taken on Friday give a sense of the size of the area and the scale of the damage.

    Satellite image of Azovstal steelworks taken 29 March 2022
  20. Hell exists and it’s in Mariupol - mayor

    Hugo Bachega

    Reporting from Dnipro

    Resident cooking outside damaged buildings in Mariupol

    An operation is under way to move civilians from the Azovstal steelworks - the last part of the city of Mariupol controlled by Ukrainian forces.

    But street after street, building after building, most of the city now lies in ruins. Mariupol has seen some of fiercest fighting in this war. Thousands have died although exactly how many is still unclear. Bodies are said to remain in the streets. Others have been buried in mass graves, unceremoniously and unidentified.

    Russian forces moved in during the early days of the invasion, imposing what has been described as a medieval-like siege. Roads, electricity, communications and gas were cut off. Residents were forced underground amid constant bombardment and shelling.

    From the city’s pre-war population of 450,000, an estimated 100,000 remain there. The mayor, Vadym Boychenko, told the BBC that the situation was “very difficult” and that there were almost no food and water supplies left.

    Boychenko, who is no longer in the city, said about 20,000 people had been killed since the start of the invasion. With the phone network inoperative in most of the city, it is hard to independently verify information.

    “The citizens who left the city say that hell exists and it’s in Mariupol,” the mayor said.

    Mariupol is strategically significant for Russia. Capturing it would help Moscow create a land corridor between the pro-Russia separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, and Crimea, which Russia invaded and annexed in 2014.

    Mariupol locator map