Ukraine-Russia war LIVE – Brit volunteer ‘Johnny’ captured by Putin’s evil soldiers as Mariupol faces bloody last stand
A HERO Brit has been captured by Vladimir Putin’s evil Russian soldiers while fighting for Ukraine in Mariupol.
Aiden Aslin, 27, known on the battlefield as ‘Jonny’, was a care worker in the UK before heading to Ukraine to defend locals from marauding Russian forces who are raping, looting and massacring citizens.
But this week he contacted friends and family to reveal his unit had run out of food and ammo, saying “It’s been 48 days. We tried our best to defend Mariupol but we have no choice but to surrender to Russian forces.”
Aiden’s mum Ang added: “I love my son, he is my hero – they put up one hell of a fight.”
He is now likely to be used by Vladimir Putin’s murderous regime for propaganda, but there is some hope Aiden may eventually be released as part of a prisoner exchange.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian fighters are putting up a hellish last stand in tunnels under an abandoned Stalingrad-esque steel plant in Mariupol as Russian forces close in on the besieged port city.
Experts say the fall of Mariupol, is inevitable but holdouts in their underground bases hope to make conquering the Sea of Azov port as hard as possible for the attackers.
Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…
Over 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers surrender in Mariupol
Russia’s defence ministry said Wednesday more than a thousand Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered in Mariupol, a strategic port city in eastern Ukraine that has been besieged by Moscow’s troops for over a month.
“In the city of Mariupol… 1,026 Ukrainian servicemen of the 36th marine brigade voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said that the soldiers surrendered near the “Mariupol Metallurgical Plant named after Illich”, a large steel factory.
Among the troops were 162 officers and 47 were women, the ministry added. More than 100 were wounded.
One civilian killed in Russian shelling of Ukraine’s Luhansk region
One civilian was killed in Russian shelling of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region over the past 24 hours, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said today.
In a post on the Telegram messaging app, he said that three trains would be offered today to residents who wanted to leave the region, which he said was under constant shelling and may face a new large offensive by Russian forces.
Ukraine’s state railway company said in a separate statement on Wednesday that a train station in central Ukraine had been shelled overnight.
Russia says U.S. spreading lies on possible chemical attack in Ukraine
Russia said today that claims by the United States and Ukraine that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine were disinformation because Moscow destroyed its last chemical stockpiles in 2017.
Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that it was checking claims that Russia may have used chemical weapons in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
Russia’s embassy in Washington said: “We call on Washington to stop spreading disinformation.
“Ned Price once again distinguished himself by his idle talk, not substantiated by a single piece of evidence.”
Chechen chief says over 1,000 Ukrainian marines surrender in Mariupol
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said more than 1,000 Ukrainian marines had surrendered in the besieged port city of Mariupol and urged remaining forces holed up in the Azovstal steel mill to surrender.
There was no comment from Ukrainian officials on the statement made on Kadyrov’s Telegram channel.
Ukraine’s General Staff, in its morning report otoday, said that Russian forces were proceeding with attacks on Azovstal and the port.
It was not clear what plant – Azovstal or Illich Iron and Steel Works – Kadyrov meant when he talked about the 1,000 surrendered Ukrainian marines.
“Within Azovstal at the moment there are about 200 wounded who cannot receive any medical assistance,” Kadyrov said in his post on Telegram.
“For them and all the rest it would be better to end this pointless resistance and go home to their families.”
No humanitarian corridors open today
Unfortunately, it has not been possible to open humanitarian corridors today, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has said.
Iryna Vereshchuk noted that work was ongoing to get them reopened.
This comes after the Mayor of Mariupol sad that there are more than 100,000 residents awaiting to be evacuated from the area – one of the most heavily bombarded cities in Ukraine.
Putin: Russia to seek alternative to European energy market
Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Moscow will be looking into alternative markets for its energy exports after Western capitals sanctioned Russia over its military operation in Ukraine.
Since Moscow’s troops moved into its pro-Western neighbour on February 24, Russia has faced a barrage of unprecedented sanctions, including embargoes on its energy exports.
“We have all the resources and opportunities to quickly find alternative solutions,” Putin said during a televised government meeting on the development of the Russian Arctic.
“As for Russian oil, gas and coal — we can increase their consumption on the domestic market… and also increase the supply of energy resources to other parts of the world, where they are really needed,” Putin added.
Russia plans ‘victory day’ carnival parade in Mariupol
According to the aid of Mariupol’s mayor, Petro Andryushchenko, Russia may be planning a “Victory Day parade” in the devastated Ukrainian port city, has said on Telegram.
He said Kostyantyn Ivashchenko, whom is in charge of Russian troops in Mariupol, was ordered “to clear a part of the city’s central district of rubble and dead bodies to ensure that a parade can be held on 9 May”.
“Judging from the whole array of data, the occupiers are planning to hold a ‘victory carnival’ in Mariupol in case their ‘special operation’ is successful,” Andryushchenko has said.
He added: “The good news is that there are no vehicles or people in the city to carry out such events.”
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