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Live Reporting

Edited by Siobhan Toman

All times stated are UK

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  1. Sunday's main developments

    First lade Jill Biden reaches out to hug Olena Zelenska at the end of their visit to school  in the border town of Uzhhorod
    Image caption: First lady Jill Biden met with her Ukrainian counterpart at a school in the border town of Uzhhorod

    We're about to pause this coverage for the day. Here's a reminder of the top stories this evening:

    • The US has announced further sanctions against Russia, including export control restrictions aimed at degrading President Putin's war effort
    • The annoucement came as the G7 leaders and President Zelensky met - via video call - and committed to "phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil" while working together "to ensure stable global energy supplies"
    • In an extraordinary news conference, members of the Azov regiment heavily criticised Ukraine's government over their plight as they remain trapped at the Mariupol steelworks - but said surrender was "unacceptable"
    • More than 60 people are now feared dead after a Russian bomb hit a school where people were sheltering in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, the local governor says - with many believed to be trapped under rubble
    • US first lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to a school in Ukraine where she met Ukraine's own first lady Olena Zelenska. Mrs Biden said she wanted "to show that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine"
    • And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an unannounced visit to the town of Irpin, where he witnessed the destruction caused by occupying Russian troops before they left the region.
  2. G7 leaders condemn Russia, support Ukraine

    Leaders of the world's seven most industrialised economies - the G7 - have just issued a statement following an online meeting attended by Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky.

    "We assured him of our full solidarity and support," the leaders said.

    They added that they would continue efforts to wean themselves off Russian oil supplies and to reinforce sanctions aimed at crippling the ability of the Russian government to continue its aggression against Ukraine.

    Leaders also pledged to "continue and elevate our campaign against the financial elites and family members, who support President Putin in his war effort and squander the resources of the Russian people".

  3. US announces further sanctions against Russia

    Employees remove the statue of Ukrainian philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda after a Russian bombing hit a local museum in the Kharkiv region
    Image caption: Financial sanctions are intended to punish Russia for its unprovoked attack on Ukraine

    New sanctions against Russia were announced in Washington on Sunday, as President Biden hosted a video call with other G7 leaders and President Zelensky.

    As a further punishment for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the US unveiled sanctions against three Russian television stations, banned Americans from providing accounting and consulting services to Russians, and sanctioned executives from Gazprombank.

    The measures leveled against Gazprombank executives were the first involving the trading arm of the Russian gas giant.

    The US and its allies have so far avoided imposing measures against the gas exporter's bank amid fears that it might lead to gas shortages for EU customers.

    A senior White House official said the move was "not a full block" but was intended to signal that Gazprombank "is not a safe haven".

    New export control restrictions were aimed at directly degrading Putin's war effort, including controls on industrial engines, motors and fans. In tandem, the EU will also impose additional controls on chemicals which contribute to the Russian military effort, the official said.

    The White House also said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would suspend licences for exports of special nuclear material to Russia.

  4. G7 leaders and Zelensky discuss sanctions

    President Joe Biden
    Image caption: President Biden will speak from his home in Delaware, where he is spending the weekend

    US President Joe Biden is currently meeting his G7 counterparts and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - by video conference - as they consider new measures to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

    The White House said the leaders would discuss adding to the sanctions that Western countries have imposed on Russia since its 24 February invasion.

    Washington said the leaders would discuss the latest developments in Russia's war against Ukraine and its global impact - and how nations could build on sanctions "to impose severe costs for Putin's war".

    Take a look at the sanctions which have been imposed on Russia so far.

  5. Russia set to celebrate Victory Day on 9 May

    Video content

    Video caption: WATCH: Russia rehearses World War Two victory parade

    Many countries across Europe are celebrating Victory Day on Sunday, 8 May.

    But Russia celebrates the victory over Nazi Germany, 77 years ago, a day later because it was already 9 May in Moscow when Nazi Germany's troops surrendered.

    Victory Day is an annual event in Russia.

    Under Vladimir Putin, it has become a show of strength of troops and military hardware, as well as a chance to remember the sacrifices of World War Two. Twenty-seven million Soviet citizens died, by far the greatest loss of any country, in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War.

    This year, the event has taken on a significance of its own. Far from liberating Europe, Russia has waged months of war against its neighbour Ukraine and is devoid of any real form of military victory that it can celebrate.

    Read more about the significance of the 9 May, amid the war in Ukraine, here.

  6. Justin Trudeau visits war-torn Irpin - mayor

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Irpin
    Image caption: There was no advance notice of Mr Trudeau's visit to Irpin, just outside Kyiv

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian town of Irpin, which came under heavy bombardment at the start of the invasion and was temporarily occupied by Russian forces.

    Writing on Telegram, local mayor Oleksandr Markushyn, said Mr Trudeau came "to see with his own eyes all the horror which Russian occupiers have caused to our town".

    Canada was one of the 12 founding members of Nato in 1949. It has committed over $118 million in military equipment to support Ukraine since the beginning of this year, according to the government there.

  7. What has happened so far today?

    Ukrainian soldiers ride on an armored vehicle enroute to the front line, amid Russia"s invasion in Ukraine, in Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, May 8, 2022.
    Image caption: Ukrainian soldiers head for the front on Sunday in Bakhmut, Donetsk region

    It's been 74 days since Russia invaded Ukraine and the bloodiest conflict to be seen in Europe in decades shows no sign of abating:

    • Details are still coming in of a bomb attack on a school in the Donbas war zone where 60 people may have been killed as they took shelter in a basement from the fighting
    • Besieged Ukrainian fighters at a steelworks in the port of Mariupol have told the world they will not surrender to Russian forces and have appealed for help to evacuate their wounded
    • Victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two is being marked in western Europe. Germany's foreign minister urged people to stand up for peace, freedom and democracy
    • Russia, which traditionally marks the anniversary a day later, is gearing up for a huge military parade in Moscow, with the world watching for what President Vladimir Putin will have to say about the new war he launched in February
    • Amid the gloom, US first lady Jill Biden met her Ukrainian counterpart on a surprise visit to a Ukrainian school, and U2 stars Bono and The Edge have been performing an acoustic set on the Kyiv metro.
  8. BreakingJill Biden makes surprise visit to Ukraine school

    US first lady Jill Biden hugs Olena Zelenska, wife of President Volodymyr Zelensky, outside a public school in Uzhhorod, Ukraine
    Image caption: US first lady Jill Biden (L) gave Olena Zelenska a bunch of flowers

    US first lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine during a trip to Romania and Slovakia where she was reaffirming US support for Nato allies.

    Mrs Biden met Ukraine's first lady Olena Zelenska at a school in the border town of Uzhhorod which is currently being used as temporary shelter for displaced people.

    The US first lady said she wanted "to show that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine" adding that the war, now it its third month, had been "brutal" and had to stop.

    Mrs Zelenska said it had been a "courageous act" to visit Ukraine.

    "We understand what it takes for the US first lady to come here during a war, when the military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day, even today,” she said.

    She added that the visit, on Mother’s Day, was very symbolic, adding: "We feel your love and support during such an important day.”

    Mrs Zelenska has not appeared in public since the Russian invasion began on 24 February.

    The two women later sat down and played with some of the dozens of children who are currently housed at the school, making tissue paper bears - the symbol of the local province.

  9. We're basically dead - fighter at besieged steel plant

    Hugo Bachega

    Reporting from Dnipro

    Capt Svyatoslav Kalina Palamar
    Image caption: Capt Svyatoslav Kalina Palamar described intense Russian shelling

    This was a remarkable news conference, broadcast live online from a bunker in the partially destroyed Azovstal steelworks, the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the city of Mariupol.

    First, Capt Svyatoslav Kalina Palamar, the deputy commander of the Azov regiment, said they had been under intense Russian shelling, and that the invading forces were trying to storm the plant. While hundreds of civilians had been evacuated in recent days, he said there was a "multitude of casualties" across the sprawling complex, both civilian and military.

    Another fighter, Lt Illia Samoilenko, then spoke for almost two hours, most of it in English. He started by heavily criticising the government, without giving details, saying it had let 25,000 people be "murdered by the Russian army" in the city, a figure that cannot be independently verified.

    "Nobody expected we would last so long and we’re still lasting, we’re still holding," he said, adding that they had been "left on their own for the last eight years". "Our government actually failed in the defence of Mariupol. Failed in the preparation."

    Lt Samoilenko said he could not give details about how many fighters were still holed up in the site but said a "couple hundred" had been wounded. Russia, whose forces are surrounding the plant, says it could agree with the evacuation of the fighters if they lay down their arms, something rejected by Lt Samoilenko.

    "Surrender for us is unacceptable because we can’t grant such a big gift to the enemy," he said. "We are basically dead men. Most of us know this. It’s why we fight so fearlessly."

  10. Police in Berlin roll up Ukrainian flags

    VE Day commemorations in Berlin, Germany

    Police in the German capital Berlin rolled up a giant Ukrainian flag, reading "They are us" at the Soviet memorial - a day after the regional senate banned the display of Russian and Ukrainian flags for the events to mark Nazi Germany's surrender on 8 May 1945.

    The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, expressed outrage at the ban, which he said amounted to giving the same treatment to the victim and the aggressor in Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    Activists unfold Ukrainian flag reading "they are us" at VE Day celebrations in Berlin, Germany

    The event marks 77 years since the end of World War Two.

    Police in Berlin, Germany, roll up Ukrainian flag at VE event
  11. Zelensky accuses Russia of Nazi-like atrocities

    Video content

    Video caption: Ukraine war: President Zelensky hits out at Russia's 'evil' invasion

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of implementing "a bloody reconstruction of Nazism".

    In a speech commemorating World War Two, he said the Russian army was replicating Nazi "atrocities" during its invasion of his country.

    "Darkness has returned to Ukraine and it has become black and white again," he said in his video address.

    "Evil has returned, in a different uniform, under different slogans, but for the same purpose," he added.

    The video also featured archive footage of World War Two and black-and-white footage of Russia's invasion.

    Mr Zelensky's references to Nazism appear to be an attempt to turn Vladimir Putin's language against him.

    Russia has justified its offensive in Ukraine as a "special operation" to "demilitarise" and "de-nazify" its neighbour.

    Video content

    Video caption: Ukraine war: Ros Atkins on... Putin’s false ‘Nazi’ claims

    Zelensky's WW2 speech accuses Russia of Nazism

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

    The Ukrainian leader compares Russia's invasion of his country to wartime Nazi bombings.

    Read more
  12. Bono visits Kyiv to back Ukraine's 'freedom fight'

    U2 rock band frontman Bono and Ukrainian serviceman, frontman of the Antytila band Taras Topolia sing during a performance for Ukrainian people inside a subway station, as Russia"s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 8
    Image caption: Bono with Taras Topolia

    U2 frontman Bono has added his voice to support for Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, performing an acoustic set in a hall of the Kyiv metro together with bandmate The Edge.

    "The people in Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you are fighting for all of us who love freedom," the Irish rock star said during a break, as quoted by AFP news agency.

    A small audience at Kreshchatik Station heard U2 classics Sunday Bloody Sunday, Desire and With Or Without You.

    Bono was joined by a Ukrainian singer in military uniform, Taras Topolia of the band Antytila, to sing the old soul standard Stand By Me, but changing the words to Stand By Ukraine.

  13. UK seeks to explain high losses among Russian officers

    Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev
    Image caption: Lt Gen Yakov Rezantsev was reportedly killed in the Kherson region

    At least seven Russian generals are believed to have been killed in Ukraine - an extraordinary casualty rate for any army.

    In its latest intelligence update, the UK Ministry of Defence attributes the presence of so many commanders in the field to difficulties in command and control, as well as faltering Russian performance.

    "Russian commanders rarely delegate operational authority to their subordinates, who in turn do not gain vital leadership experience," the MoD says.

    "This has resulted in a force that is slow to respond to setbacks and unable to alter its approach on the battlefield."

  14. Surrender is unacceptable - Azov fighter

    More now from that press conference at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol. We're now hearing from Lt Illia Samoilenko, who says "surrendering is not an option because Russia is not interested in our lives".

    "Surrender for us is unacceptable. We can't grant such a big gift to the enemy," he says. "To be captured for me means to be dead."

    "We're fighting against an aggressor, the enemy who brings terror to Ukraine, against their barbarism," he adds.

    CONTEXT: Civilians now out of Azovstal plant

  15. VE Day marked in shadow of Ukraine war

    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock

    Germany's foreign minister has urged people to stand up for peace, freedom and democracy, on the day much of Europe celebrates VE Day, marking the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi German in World War Two.

    Ahead of a planned visit to Ukraine, Annalena Baerbock said VE Day reminded Germans never again to be on the wrong side of the struggle for freedom and humanity.

    Earlier on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave an emotional Victory Day speech, saying that "evil has returned" to Ukraine, but Russia would not escape responsibility.

    Russia will celebrate victory in WW2 on Monday, with the annual Victory Day parade in Moscow a centrepiece.

    President Vladimir Putin sent messages to a number of pro-Russian leaders and their citizens on Sunday, as well the peoples of Georgia and Ukraine.

    In his message to "the veterans of the Great Patriotic War and citizens of Ukraine", Putin stressed "the unacceptability of revenge on the part of the ideological followers of those who were defeated".

    He said it was the "common duty" of Russia, and her allies, "to prevent the revival of Nazism, which brought so much suffering to the people of different countries".

    One of President Putin’s justifications for his invasion of Ukraine is that he wants to - in his words - "denazify" the country.

    WATCH: Putin's false Nazi claims

  16. BreakingAzov fighters can't confirm all civilians rescued from plant

    Capt Svyatoslav Kalina Palamar and Lieutenant Illia Samoilenko
    Image caption: Capt Svyatoslav Kalina Palamar (L) and Lt Illia Samoilenko are speaking from the besieged steelworks

    That online news conference with fighters in the Azovstal steelworks which we trailed a little earlier has just started.

    Capt Svyatoslav Kalina Palamar, the deputy commander of the Azov regiment at the site in Mariupol, says Russian forces have continued to shell the area, and that they're trying to storm the plant.

    He said he couldn't confirm whether all civilians had been evacuated from the site as was reported yesterday.

  17. Permits needed to leave Mariupol, says mayor

    Laura Bicker

    BBC News

    The mayor of Mariupol says Russian President Vladimir Putin is determing who lives, who leaves and who dies in the city.

    Vadym Boichenko told the BBC that the 100,000 people still living in the besieged port city need a permit to move around - and a separate permit to leave.

    Mr Boichenko also claims that around 2,000 men are being held in so-called “filtration centres” in Bezymenne and Kozatske, and not being allowed to return to their homes unless they are sick or injured.

    “They are being used as labour to clear the rubble, collect the dead bodies of those the Russians have killed, and cover up evidence of war crimes,” he says.

    The BBC has not independently verified these claims.

    Capturing Mariupol - now dominated by Russian forces, aside from the Azovstal steelworks - will allow the Russians to complete a land bridge between Crimea and the Donbas region, as well as giving them full control of more than 80% of Ukraine's Black Sea coastline.

    But in their quest to do so, they have pummelled Mariupol with artillery, rockets and missiles - damaging or destroying more than 90% of the city.

    Once a thriving port with a promising future, Mr Boichenko shares a thick booklet of plans compiled last year for Mariupol. It's full of glossy images of parks, pavement cafes, universities and schools.

    “I worked there for seven years, putting my heart and soul into it, " he tells the BBC.

    "My home is there, my parents’ home is there. They took everything away from us, “ he says. “My heart and soul are gone.”

    A man participates in #SaveMariupol rally in Lviv, Ukraine, on 6 May
    Image caption: President Zelensky says diplomatic efforts are continuing over the evacuation of military personnel from Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks
  18. Azovstal fighters to give rare news conference

    The fighters holed up inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol are expected to hold a rare online news conference shortly, in what will likely include a plea for a plan to guarantee their rescue.

    Ukrainian officials say all women, children and elderly who were sheltering in the site's underground bunkers and shelters have now been evacuated.

    But with the civilians out, there are fears Russia may step up its attacks on the site. Russia says the fighters, believed to number in the hundreds, must lay down their arms. They reject this, saying they won't surrender.

    We'll bring you updates from the news conference as it happens.

    Those expected to speak to journalists include the Commander of the Azov Regiment, Lt Col Denis Radis Prokopenko and his deputy, Cpt Svyatoslav "Kalina" Palamar.

  19. Fighting rages across Ukraine

    A Ukrainian MiG jet flies in the direction of the frontline, near Kostyantynivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine May 8, 2022
    Image caption: A Ukrainian MiG jet could be seen flying over Donetsk region on Sunday

    The bombing of a school where villagers had taken shelter is tragically just one attack among many this weekend as the war in Ukraine shows no sign of relenting.

    There has been fierce fighting around Popasna in Luhansk in recent days amid a sustained Russian assault. Local governor Serhiy Haidai said Ukrainian forces had been pulling back and that everything in the town had been destroyed.

    Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said his troops had taken control of most of the town.

    Meanwhile, Russian-backed separatists in the neighbouring Donetsk region said the city of the same name and another town, Holmivskyi, had come under Ukrainian shelling on Sunday.

    Both sides earlier talked of inflicting heavy losses on the other. The Ukrainian government reported killing 400 enemy soldiers, knocking out eight tanks and 28 other armoured vehicles, destroying a ship and a helicopter, and downing 27 drones.

    Russia's military says its air force alone killed around 420 Ukrainian soldiers, putting 55 pieces of military hardware out of action. It also reports destroying a warship with a missile near the port of Odesa, and shooting down two attack planes and a helicopter.

    The BBC has not independently confirmed these claims.

  20. Invasion is war against children - Ukraine

    A girl plays during a children"s party in the basement of a kindergarten as air raid sirens sound, in Kamianske, Ukraine on 6 May

    The Ukrainian government has accused Moscow of targeting educational establishments, including schools and colleges, completely destroying more than 20 sites since the Russian invasion began.

    Presidential advisor Daria Herasymchuk described the invasion as "a war against children".

    Officials tweeted on Sunday that the Russian invasion has so far killed 225 children and injured 413 - although these figures are likely to be higher, as they do not include casualties in occupied areas or where hostilities are currently ongoing.

    Ms Herasymchuk said children were suffering the most in the eastern Donbas region, where the government has called for international help to repatriate children from orphanages in Russian-occupied territory.