According to Kremlin-installed authorities, Mariupol’s seaport is being used to ship goods to and from Russia.
- Russian flags are being flown on a highway to the strategic port city of Mariupol, with the city’s entrance sign painted in the Russian flag colours.
- The European Union blamed Russia for holding up talks on funding agreement on a plan to release Ukrainian grain currently blocked from export.
- Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk have upheld the death sentences of two Britons and one Moroccan for fighting with the Ukrainian army.
- Russian forces said they fired Kalibr cruise missiles to destroy a large depot with US and European weapons in Ukraine’s Ternopil region.
Here are the latest updates:
Russia destroys bridge over Ukrainian river, cutting escape route
Russian forces have blown up a bridge linking the embattled Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk to another city across the river, cutting off a possible evacuation route for civilians, local officials said.
Russian forces have taken most of the city but Ukrainian troops remain in control of an industrial area and the Azot chemical plant where hundreds of civilians are sheltering.
But the Russians had destroyed a bridge over the Siverskyi Donets River linking Severodonetsk with its twin city of Lysychansk, governor of Luhansk Serhiy Gaidai said.
“If after new shelling the bridge collapses, the city will truly be cut off. There will be no way of leaving Sievierodonetsk in a vehicle,” Gaidai said, noting the lack of a ceasefire agreement and no agreed evacuation corridors.
Russian flags seen at entrance to Mariupol
A new city sign painted in the colors of the Russian flag was unveiled on the outskirts of Mariupol, replacing a monument which had been in the blue and gold of Ukraine.
Russian flags were also being flown on a highway into the port city, which is now fully under the control of Moscow-backed forces.
According to Kremlin-installed authorities, the seaport is now ready to operate as usual and was being used to ship goods to and from Russia.