Russia wants to force Ukrainian POWs to donate blood - Ukrainian official

Russia has reportedly detained Ukrainian servicemen in general colonies without converting prisons to POW camps.

Ukrainian ombudswoman for human rights Lyudmila Denisova speaks with journalists before the arrival of detained crew members of Ukrainian naval ships, which were seized by Russia's FSB security service in November 2018, outside a court building in Moscow, Russia July 17, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/SHAMIL ZHUMATOV)
Ukrainian ombudswoman for human rights Lyudmila Denisova speaks with journalists before the arrival of detained crew members of Ukrainian naval ships, which were seized by Russia's FSB security service in November 2018, outside a court building in Moscow, Russia July 17, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/SHAMIL ZHUMATOV)

Russia tries to draw blood

On Sunday, Russia proposed the forced donation of blood by captured Ukrainian soldiers, according to Ukrainian ombudswoman for Human Rights, Lyudmila Denisova, on Facebook. 

In her post, Desinova explained that "this fact testifies to the analogy of the atrocities of the Nazis in the concentration camps during the Second World War."  

 

Mariupol humanitarian corridor fails

No humanitarian routes were established out of the southeastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Sunday, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, blaming Russian forces for not holding their fire.

Vereshchuk said that the Ukrainian side would try again on Monday to establish safe passage out of Mariupol. She called for UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, who is scheduled to travel to Moscow before visiting Kyiv next week, to demand a ceasefire and open up humanitarian corridors from Mariupol.

"This is what Guterres should talk about in Moscow, if he is preparing to talk about peace," Vereshchuk said.

 An aerial view shows damaged buildings, amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine in this handout picture taken with a drone released April 24, 2022.  (credit: Azov Handout/ via REUTERS) An aerial view shows damaged buildings, amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, in Mariupol, Ukraine in this handout picture taken with a drone released April 24, 2022. (credit: Azov Handout/ via REUTERS)

UN Resident Coordinator responds

Amin Awad, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, called for an immediate end to hostilities in Mariupol on Sunday to evacuate civilians, reported Ukrainian state media outlet, Ukrinform. 

The Guardian reported a statement from Awad, saying "Tens of thousands are at stake in Mariupol, including women, children and the elderly. We need a pause between battles right now to save lives."

Russia attempts to overtake Azovstal plant in Mariupol

Russian forces are attempting to storm the Azovstal plant in Mariupol by land, backed up by aerial and artillery bombardment, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on Sunday.

Arestovych wrote on Facebook that "Russian troops are trying to finish off the defenders of Azovstal and more than 1,000 civilians who are hiding at the plant."

The Azovstal steel factory is the main remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the southeastern port of Mariupol. Russian troops surrounded the plant in early March and have gradually taken control of most of the city.

Gas pipeline broken in Luhansk

Russian shelling killed six residents of Ukraine's Luhansk region on Saturday and cut off the main high-pressure gas pipeline, according to the Ukrainian state media outlet Ukrinform.  Residents of Severodonetsk, a city in the region, have been without light and power for approximately two days, as of Sunday.  The Lukansk Regional State Administration reports that a total of 46 settlements in the region remain without gas supply. 

Increased Russian presence in Belgorod

Russia has deployed Iskander-M mobile battlefield missile launchers within 60 km (40 miles) of the Ukrainian border, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said on Sunday.

"Then enemy has increased the number of troops in the Belgorod region by transferring and concentrating additional units," the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in its daily morning update.

"According to available information, Iskander-M launchers have been deployed 60 km from the border with Ukraine," it said, without providing more detail on the location of the systems.

Reuters could not immediately verify the reports. There was no immediate reaction from Moscow to the reports.

 Russian servicemen drive Iskander-M missile launchers during the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in Kaliningrad, Russia May 9, 2019. (credit: VITALY NEVAR/REUTERS) Russian servicemen drive Iskander-M missile launchers during the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in Kaliningrad, Russia May 9, 2019. (credit: VITALY NEVAR/REUTERS)

Belgorod is a city and the administrative center of Russia's Belgorod region, north of the border with Ukraine.

The Iskander, a mobile ballistic missile system codenamed SS-26 Stone by NATO, replaced the Soviet Scud missile. Its two guided missiles have a range of up to 500 km (300 miles) and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.

Russia said on Friday it wanted to control all of southern Ukraine. Kyiv said this showed Moscow had wider goals than its declared aim of demilitarising and "denazifying" the country. Ukraine and the West call the invasion, now in its third month, an unjustified war of aggression.

Clashes in Donbas and other attacks

Ukraine has managed to fight off numerous Russian assaults along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region last week as Russia's operational focus has shifted eastward, according to a UK defense intelligence update.

Russia has made some territorial gains. However, Ukrainian resistance has stayed strong and all Russian gains have come at a significant cost as a result.

Currently, morale among Russian forces remains poor and this, along with limited time to regroup, re-equip and reorganize after prior offenses, are causing their combat effectiveness to be hampered.

Eight people died in Russian attacks in Ukraine's Luhansk region on Saturday, Serhiy Gaidai, the region's governor, wrote in a post on social media.

Reuters was not able to immediately verify the reports.

Two children were killed on Sunday in shelling by Russian forces, the governor of Ukraine's Donetsk region said, urging people to evacuate areas near the fighting.

Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram that the children, girls aged 5 and 14, had died in the Ocheretynsk community after the building where they lived was destroyed.

Russia's defense ministry said on Sunday its high-precision missiles struck nine Ukrainian military targets overnight, including four arms depots in the Kharkiv region where artillery weapons were stored.

The ministry also said its missile and artillery forces destroyed a further four such arms depots in the same region and hit a facility in the Dnipropetrovsk region producing explosives for the Ukrainian army.

Casualties

As of Sunday, Russia has so far lost 21,800 soldiers in their ongoing invasion, as well as 191 drones, 147 MLRSs, 69 air defense systems, 408 artillery pieces, 873 tanks, 154 helicopters, 179 aircraft, 2,238 armored vehicles, eight ships, 76 fuel trucks and 1,557 other vehicles, according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In addition, 213 Ukrainian children were killed and 389 were injured since the war began, Interfax reported, citing the Prosecutor General's Office.

According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, Russian forces have so far taken out 141 Ukrainian aircraft, 551 drones, 264 anti-aircraft systems, 110 helicopters 2,469 tanks and other armored vehicles, 2,343 special military vehicles, 282 MLRSs and 1,093 artillery guns and mortars, TASS reported.

This is a developing story