Moscow says it has taken control of steel plant, fully capturing port city after months of Ukrainian resistance.
- Washington says it is “confident” that Turkey’s concerns about the admission of Sweden and Finland into NATO will be addressed.
- Russia’s defence ministry says the last group of Ukrainian forces holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel works has surrendered.
- A Russian missile hit a cultural centre in the Kharkiv region, the Ukrainian government says.
- A US consular officer visited detained American basketball star Brittney Griner in Russia, the US State Department confirms.
Here are all the latest updates:
Russian missile hits cultural centre in Kharkiv region, Ukraine says
A Russian missile has struck a Ukrainian cultural centre in the Kharkiv region, injuring seven people, including an 11-year-old child, Kyiv has said.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s social media channel released a video showing a large explosion hitting the newly renovated Palace of Culture in Lozova. The building was partly destroyed and the roof caught fire, Ukraine’s emergency services reported.
“The occupiers identified culture, education and humanity as their enemies,” Zelenskyy wrote. “What is in the minds of people who choose such targets? Absolute evil, absolute stupidity.”
US says basketball start detained in Russia received consular visit
A US consular official has visited detained basketball star Brittney Griner in Russia, US State Department has said, while urging Moscow for more regular consular access.
Griner, 31, a two-time Olympic champion and member of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in February on accusations of carrying vape cartridges that contained cannabis oil in her luggage.
“I can confirm that a Consular Officer visited Brittney Griner in detention yesterday on Thursday, May 19th. The consular officer found her continuing to do as well as could be expected under these exceedingly challenging circumstances,” Price said in a briefing.
“But again, our message is a clear and simple one. We continue to insist that Russia allow consistent and timely consular access to all US citizen detainees. One-off visits are not sufficient.”
Germany to ship anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine: Report
German news agency DPA has reported that the country will ship the first 15 Gepard anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine in July.
DPA reported that the delivery, which includes training and almost 60,000 rounds of ammunition, was agreed following talks between Germany’s defence minister and her Ukrainian counterpart.
Gepard — German for “cheetah” — is considered highly effective against low-flying aircraft and lightly armoured ground targets. It was decommissioned by the German military in 2012 but some 50 mothballed units are being restored by manufacturer KMW for use by Ukraine.
US ‘confident’ Turkey’s concerns on NATO expansion will be addressed
The US State Department has said Washington is “confident” that Turkey’s concerns about the admission of Sweden and Finland into NATO will be addressed.
“Turkey is a longstanding, valued NATO ally,” said spokesperson Ned Price. “We understand Turkey’s longstanding concerns, and we’ll continue to work together in our efforts to end the scourge of terrorism.”
Turkey has accused Finland and Sweden of harbouring “terrorists”, referring to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gulen movement, the latter of which Ankara accuses of being behind a 2016 failed coup against the government.
Last Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol steel mill surrender: Russia
Russia’s defence ministry has said the last group of Ukrainian forces holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel works have surrendered, marking an end to a weeks-long siege.
“The territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant … has been completely liberated,” the ministry said in a statement.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all the updates from Friday, May 20 here.