The battle for the massive Azovstal steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol appears to be nearing an end, after hundreds of the remaining Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated overnight.
Here's the latest:
- Mariupol on the brink: Commanders of Ukrainian units stationed in Mariupol's massive Azovstal steelworks plant have been ordered "to save the lives of their personnel," according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as they announced the end of their "combat mission" in the besieged southern city. Hundreds of people were evacuated on Monday from the steel plant, the final holdout in a city that had become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's deputy prime minister, said Ukraine expects to carry out an exchange of Russian prisoners of war for the severely injured soldiers evacuated.
- Western Ukraine: Russian missiles targeted western Ukraine overnight, damaging railway infrastructure close to the border with Poland, according to the head of the Lviv regional military administration. Maksym Kozytskyi said the location hit was near the town of Yavoriv, which is also home to a large military base. He said there were no reports of casualties.
- NATO application: Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde on Tuesday morning signed an application declaring the country wants to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In Finland, the country's parliamentary foreign affairs committee said it must apply for membership of NATO "to strengthen its security." The European Council "strongly supports" the application of both countries to join NATO, the bloc's chief diplomat Josep Borrell reiterated Tuesday.
- Zelensky: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the situation at the military front with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, he tweeted. The two leaders also discussed strengthening sanctions and pressure on Russia, as well as the prospect of peace.
- Kharkiv: Ukrainian soldiers are advancing to the north and northeast of Kharkiv, according to the head of the northeastern city's regional military administration, as a weeks-long counter-attack gathers pace. Oleh Syniehubov told Ukrainian television Tuesday that fighting was underway northeast of Ukraine's second-largest city, toward the town of Vovchansk, along the Russia-Ukraine border.
- Missile strikes: Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday there had been heavy casualties in Russian missile strikes far from the front lines, but on the ground Russian efforts to advance were being repulsed.
- Kalush Orchestra: The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, which won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, will tour Europe to raise funds for the needs of the army and charitable foundations of Ukraine, the band's frontman Oleg Psyuk said Tuesday.