Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed attendees Thursday at the ‘Brave Ukraine’ fundraising event hosted by the Ukrainian Embassy in London.
Zelenskyy reiterated the importance of Britain’s relationship with Ukraine, saying: So this means we are really strong in defending freedom in Europe.”
He also updated event attendees about evacuation efforts from Mariupol, saying Ukrainian forces continue to resist at the Azovstal steel plant.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will continue to step up its aid to Ukraine and that Zelensky’s leadership in Kyiv is “a blessing for Ukraine and the world” and a “disaster for Putin”. The president said he was “truly one of the most amazing leaders of modern times.”
The UN secretary-general said nearly 500 people were evacuated from the Azovstal plant.
Nearly 500 people have been evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol and surrounding areas in a joint operation by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, officials said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a tweet that two safe transit convoys had successfully evacuated the besieged area.
“I hope that continued cooperation with Moscow and Kyiv will lead to a humanitarian shutdown to allow the safe passage of civilians,” he said.
Jill Biden travels to Ukraine border, meets refugees on Mother’s Day
WASHINGTON — Jill Biden’s weekend trip to Eastern Europe will include a Mother’s Day trip to the Ukraine-Slovak border, the White House announced Thursday.
A Sunday stop at Slovakia’s Vyšné Nemecké border will be the latest by a prominent US government official at the forefront of the Russo-Ukrainian war. From there, Biden will inspect checkpoints where Ukrainian refugees receive basic assistance from humanitarian and Slovak government staff before traveling further west to processing centers and transit hubs, the White House said.
The White House said at a stop that included a visit to a small Greek Catholic chapel, it was expected that Biden would learn about the experiences of aid workers and refugees and convey the Biden administration’s appreciation for what they are doing there.
Biden will visit a refugee center and school in Košice, about 55 miles from the border, on Sunday to participate in Mother’s Day activities with Slovak and Ukrainian refugees.
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Britain attacks Russia’s Mariupol plant in ‘symbolic victory’
The continued attacks on Russia’s Mariupol steel plant appear to have stemmed from Russia’s desire for a “symbolic victory” for the Victory Day celebrations, the British Ministry of Defense said Friday.
Russian ground forces continued to attack the Azovstal steel plant, where the city’s last garrison is located, Britain said. When Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in Mariupol two weeks ago, he ordered his troops to blockade it and not raid it.
In a daily intelligence update, Britain said in a daily intelligence update: “The new effort by Russia to secure Azovstall and complete the occupation of Mariupol may be related to the upcoming Victory Day on 9 May and President Putin’s aspirations to achieve symbolic success in Ukraine. will,” he said.
Russia’s annual Victory Day commemorates the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.