- Ukraine’s joint forces task force said 20 civilians were killed in Russian shelling in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey “cannot say ‘yes'” to NATO bids from Finland and Sweden.
- A dozen buses apparently carrying Ukrainian fighters left the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, reports the Reuters news agency.
- A senior US defense official said the long-range Russian attacks near Lviv appeared to be targeting a Ukrainian military training center.
- Poland’s agriculture minister said Ukrainian grain exports could pass through Poland as long as the war prevented them from leaving Black Sea ports.
Here are all the latest updates:
Ukraine hopes to ‘save lives’ of Mariupol troops: Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he hoped the lives of servicemen at the besieged Azovstal steelworks would be saved.
“We hope we can save the lives of our guys,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address. “There are serious injuries among them. They receive care. Ukraine needs living Ukrainian heroes.
Azovstal combat mission accomplished, according to the Ukrainian army
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that the servicemen defending the Azovstal steel plant fulfilled their combat mission.
“The Supreme Military Command ordered commanders of units stationed in Azovstal to save the lives of personnel,” the General Staff said in a statement on its Facebook account. “Efforts to rescue the remaining defenders in Azovstal territory continue.”
Ukraine says more than 260 soldiers evacuated from Mariupol factory
More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers have been evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said.
“53 seriously wounded (soldiers) were evacuated from Azovstal to the medical center [facility] near Novoazovsk for medical help,” Malyar said in a statement.
Another 211 people were evacuated through the humanitarian corridor, she added.
Servicemen evacuated from Mariupol arrive in Novoazovsk in Ukraine: report
Ukrainian servicemen evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have arrived in Novoazovsk, Reuters reported, citing a witness.
Some of the evacuees were carried off the buses on stretchers, the witness said. Novoazovsk is now under the control of Russian-backed separatists who have controlled parts of eastern Ukraine since 2014.
US supports UN efforts to bring Ukrainian grain back to world market
The United States supports efforts by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to put Ukrainian grain back on the international market during the war, the US ambassador to the United Nations said.
“He told us about his plans and his discussions with the Ukrainians and the Russians on this issue,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters without giving further details.
Ukraine’s grain exports could pass through Poland: minister
Poland’s agriculture minister said Ukrainian grain exports could pass through Poland as long as the Russian war prevented them from leaving Black Sea ports.
Agriculture Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Henryk Kowalczyk spoke in Warsaw alongside US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, as well as Ukraine’s Agriculture Secretary and the Agriculture Committee of the European Union, which is Polish.
Ukraine, a major grain producer, had previously warned that Russia was causing a global food crisis by blockading the country’s Black Sea ports.
Russian attack targets training center in western Ukraine: US official
A senior US defense official said the long-range Russian attacks near the western city of Lviv appeared to be targeting a Ukrainian military training center in Yavoriv, less than 25 km (15 miles) from the border with Poland.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. military assessment at this point is that there were up to half a dozen missiles fired and a few small buildings been damaged.
There are no reports of casualties yet, the official said, adding that the missiles were fired from the Black Sea and likely came from a Russian submarine.
Ukraine says 20 civilians killed in Russian shelling
Ukraine’s Joint Task Force said 20 civilians, including a child, were killed in Russian shelling in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
The military task force said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that 25 communities in the regions were targeted by fire, with 42 residential buildings and a school among the affected locations.
Buses carrying Ukrainian fighters leave Mariupol: report
The Reuters news agency reported that a dozen buses apparently carrying Ukrainian fighters left the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.
It could not be determined how many people were on board, the agency said. Reuters later published photos of the buses.
It is estimated that around 600 fighters are inside the sprawling Soviet-era factory, including dozens of wounded.
Turkey won’t say ‘yes’ to NATO bids from Sweden and Finland: Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up his opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
Erdogan accused the countries of not taking a clear position against Kurdish fighters and of imposing military sanctions on Turkey.
“Neither country has an open and clear position against terrorist organizations,” Erdogan said during a joint press conference with the visiting Algerian president. “We cannot say ‘yes’ to those imposing sanctions on Turkey, membership in NATO which is a security organization.”
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all of the Monday, May 16 updates here.