Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russia’s invasion of his homeland was “only the beginnning,” and that the Kremlin wanted “to invade other countries,” in a video address late Friday.
Calling for other countries to “fight alongside” Ukraine, Zelenskyy, in the message posted to his Telegram channel, said that nations that wanted to remain neutral were making “the riskiest bet, because you will lose everything.”
His comments came before the discovery of what appeared to be another mass grave in the village of Vynohradne near Mariupol, according to Petro Andriushchenko, an adviser to the besieged southern city’s mayor.
Satellite images from U.S. defense contractor Maxar appeared to show what the firm described in a statement as several long, parallel trenches that “are/will likely become” new gravesites. Each trench is roughly 131 feet, the company said, adding that they had begun to appear in late March. Russian officials did not immediately comment on the allegations.
Moscow’s attempts to fully capture Mariupol have been slowed by Ukrainian resistance, according to an intelligence briefing from the U.K.’s defense ministry early Saturday. It said that Ukrainian counterattacks had prevented its forces from making any major gains in the last 24 hours.
Missile strike on Ukraine’s Odesa caused casualties, says regional spokesperson
There are casualties in Ukraine’s Odesa as a result of a missile strike on the southern port city on Saturday, regional spokesperson Serhiy Bratchuk said on national television.
“There are casualties — killed and wounded,” he said, adding that the exact toll was still being determined.
Russia has deported hundreds to ‘far east,’ Mariupol City Council says
Russian forces have deported 308 Mariupol residents to the “far east,” the city’s council said Saturday.
The Kremlin’s plan is to clear the city of people and establish a corridor to Crimea, Mariupol City Council said in a statement posted to its Telegram channel that was translated by NBC News.
“The occupiers deported 308 Mariupol residents to the Far East,” the statement said. It did provide further details about where the residents had been taken.
“At first, the Russians almost leveled the city to the ground. Then, due to international pressure, half of the population was released in the direction of Zaporizhia,” the statement added, referring to a city to the north-west of Mariupol, where some of the city’s residents have previously evacuated to.
“Everyone else is deported to the most depressed areas of Russia.”