After the evacuation of around 260 Ukrainian soldiers from the Azov steelworks in Mariupol, the situation of the city's remaining defenders in the huge industrial complex remains unclear.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyj said on Wednesday night that influential international mediators were involved in the efforts to rescue them.

Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, while Russian airstrikes are taking place in other regions.

The 260 soldiers who left the Azowstal plant on Tuesday night were taken into Russian captivity.

Kyiv hopes to be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war at a later date, but the Russian military initially left such a step open.

Moscow released a video purporting to show the Ukrainians being arrested, receiving medical treatment and the evacuation of the injured.

A good 50 of the soldiers are said to be seriously wounded.

Russian deputy head of government in the occupied territory of Kherson

Russia is determined to tie the occupied Cherson region in southern Ukraine to itself.

The region around the port city will have a "worthy place in our Russian family," said Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Marat Chusnullin during a visit to Cherson on Tuesday.

The Russian state agency Ria Novosti quoted him as saying that people will live and work together in the future.

On May 1, Russia introduced the Russian ruble as official currency in the region.

A few days ago, the deputy chief of the pro-Russian administration in Cherson, Kirill Stremoussov, brought up a formal application for Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin to join the conversation.

He justified the waiver of a previously considered referendum with the fact that such a referendum on the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, was not internationally recognized.

The Ukrainian government, on the other hand, is convinced that a Russification of the Cherson region will fail.

According to the authorities, seven civilians were killed on Tuesday in the Donetsk region, which was fought over by Russian and Ukrainian troops.

Six others were injured, Ukrainian military governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told the Telegram news service.

He accused Russian troops of killing the people.

Zelenskyi listed rocket attacks and bombardments in the Lviv, Sumy, Chernihiv and Luhansk regions.

The Russian military wants to compensate for the failures in the east and south.

Plant of German gypsum manufacturer Knauf in Ukraine bombed

According to Ukrainian sources, a disused gypsum factory belonging to the German company Knauf was bombed by the Russian air force in eastern Ukraine.

"The air strikes damaged business premises and a fire broke out," military governor of Donetsk region Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote in the Telegram news service.

Nobody was injured.

Knauf shut down the plant shortly after the Russian invasion.

The company confirmed on Tuesday evening that the plant in Soledor in the Donbass was hit by a rocket and set on fire.

US sets up observatory for Ukraine war

In response to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, the US has launched a conflict observatory.

The new Conflict Observatory is intended to ensure "that crimes committed by Russia's troops are documented and that the perpetrators are held accountable," said a spokesman for the State Department on Tuesday (local time) in Washington.

Among other things, the program will collect, analyze and publish information and evidence of "atrocities, human rights violations and damage to civilian infrastructure".

Reports would be posted on the ConflictObservatory.org website in the future.

Selenskyj: Phone call with Scholz "quite productive"

After tensions in the relationship between Kyiv and Berlin, Selenskyj described his telephone call with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Tuesday as "quite productive".

Among other things, military support for Ukraine was discussed, Zelenskyy said in his daily video address.

He informed Scholz about the current military situation and its possible future development.

Selenskyj chose slightly different words to describe his conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

That conversation was "substantial and lengthy," he said.

Among other things, it was about the next round of European sanctions against Russia and Ukraine's plans for rapid accession to the European Union.

According to the Elysee, Macron promised that arms deliveries from France would continue and intensify.

He also confirmed that Ukraine's accession to the EU should be discussed in June.

There were irritations in German-Ukrainian relations in mid-April.

The Ukrainian side refused a visit to Kyiv by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who they accused of once pursuing a pro-Russian policy as SPD foreign minister.

Scholz initially did not want to go to Kyiv.

According to the governments, the tensions were resolved with clarifying talks in early May.

That will be important on Wednesday

Sweden and Finland submit their NATO membership applications together in Brussels.

The Nordic countries are thus giving up their long tradition of military non-alignment.

The EU Commission presents its strategy on how the European Union can become independent of fossil fuels from Russia.

The authority wants to set more ambitious goals for the expansion of renewable energies and energy saving.

The first trial against a Russian soldier on charges of war crimes is set to begin in Ukraine.

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