Day 84 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Azovstal Troops Surrender, Moscow-Kyiv Talks Stalled

World » UKRAINE | May 18, 2022, Wednesday // 11:08
Bulgaria: Day 84 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Azovstal Troops Surrender, Moscow-Kyiv Talks Stalled Zelensky made a surprising video address at the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Hundreds of defenders of Mariupol surrender

Russia says 265 of the Ukrainian fighters, who have been defending themselves for weeks at the Mariupol steel plant, surrendered under an agreement with Kyiv.

Russia's Defense Ministry says 51 of them were seriously injured and taken to a hospital in part of the eastern Donetsk region controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

Ukrainian authorities say the fighters have been taken to areas controlled by Russian forces or pro-Russian rebels and will be exchanged at a later date for Russian prisoners.

They say they are working to "rescue" the last detainees at the extensive Azovstal steel plant.

Azovstal has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion, with fighters in harsh conditions for weeks after the city fell to Russian forces.

Finland and Sweden are ready to apply for NATO membership

Finland and Sweden will jointly submit their applications for NATO membership on Wednesday, the two Scandinavian countries said.

US President Joe Biden will receive the leaders of the two non-aligned countries in the White House on Thursday to discuss their historic applications to join NATO after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, Turkey, which accuses Sweden and Finland of acting as a hotbed of terrorist groups, has said it will not approve NATO enlargement, which must be approved unanimously by NATO's 30 members.

Peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv are "pending"

Ukraine says peace talks to end hostilities with Russia in Ukraine have been suspended, accusing Moscow of failing to find areas for compromise.

"The negotiation process has been halted," the presidency said in a statement, quoted by Mihailo Podolyak, an aide to the Ukrainian president.

ICC sends war crimes team

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is sending a team of 42 investigators, forensic experts and support staff to Ukraine to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity, its prosecutor said.

"This is the largest single deployment of my office since its inception," said ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan in a statement.

Attack on a city in Donbas

At least 10 people have been killed in the shelling of Sievierodonetsk, the easternmost city still held by Ukrainian forces and the target of a major Russian offensive.

The governor of the Luhansk administrative district, where Sievierodonetsk is located, said Russian forces were shelling the city "without stopping".

The takeover of Sievierodonetsk would give the Kremlin de facto control of Luhansk, one of the two breakaway regions - along with Donetsk - that make up Donbas, which Russia has vowed to "liberate" from Ukraine.

Ukraine claims that after being repulsed from the city of Kharkiv in the northeastern part of the country, Russian troops were transferred to Luhansk to intensify the struggle there.

The west and the south are also affected

In the west, defense officials in the western city of Lviv say an object of military infrastructure "almost on the border with Poland" was hit by Russian strikes.

The Army's Southern Operational Command says the southern cities of Odessa and Mykolaiv have also been hit and there are asualties, without giving exact figures.

Zelensky made a speech at the opening of the festival in Cannes

Zelensky made a surprising video address at the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival.

"Eventually, the hatred will disappear and the dictators will die," he told an audience that applauded him.

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