Russia renews its attack on the Azovstal steel plant ahead of Victory Day; Ukraine says evacuations are underway. Follow our live updates


Ukraine says another attempt to evacuate civilians from the Mariupol steel plant is underway

The head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine said that there is a new attempt to evacuate people from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

“The next stage of saving our people from Azovstal is currently underway,” Andrei Yermak said via Telegram, according to a translation. “Information about the results will be provided at a later time.”

– Sam Meredith

The United Kingdom said Russia was continuing its attack on the Mariupol steel plant in Azovstal

People hold placards and chant slogans during a demonstration in support of Mariupol defenders on May 3, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Alexei Furman | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russian forces in the besieged port city of Mariupol continued their ground assault on the Azovstal steel plant for a second day, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defense, despite Russian statements claiming they would only seek to shut it down.

The United Kingdom said renewed efforts to secure Azovstal and complete the capture of Mariupol are likely linked to Russia’s annual “Victory Day” on May 9, and President Vladimir Putin’s desire for a “symbolic success” in Ukraine.

The UK ministry said in its latest intelligence update that these ongoing efforts “came at the cost of personnel, equipment and munitions to Russia”.

– Sam Meredith

George W. Bush and Zelensky meet virtually

Former President George W. Bush delivers a speech on September 11, 2021. Bush met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky virtually via an online video conference, in which Zelensky invited Bush to visit Ukraine at his convenience.

Noah Reeve | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Former US President George W. Bush and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met via an online video conference, where Zelensky invited Bush to visit Ukraine.

Bush, in turn, conveyed his support to the president and people of Ukraine.

“Your courage is very important for further success. If you keep doing what you are doing, you will always have our support if you keep fighting like you are now,” the Ukrainian president’s office stated.

Bush called Zelensky “the Winston Churchill of our time,” according to a statement issued by the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Zelensky appreciated the support from the United States and the Americans.

“Americans are loyal and open people, and I feel like that,” Zelensky said, according to the president’s office. “I feel it’s from the heart.”

– Chelsea Ong

The UN Secretary-General said Russia’s war “must end”, he told Putin and Zelensky

“I am touched by the toughness and courage of the people of Ukraine. My message to them is simple: We will not give up,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote on Twitter, after returning from a visit to Ukraine earlier this week. He visited the Kyiv suburbs of Borodianka, Bucha and Irpin.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he told Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Kremlin’s invasion must end for the sake of the whole world.

“Throughout my travels, I have not been kind to words,” Guterres told the United Nations Security Council after making separate trips to the capitals of Russia and Ukraine.

“I said the same thing in Moscow as I did in Kyiv and it is exactly what I have repeatedly expressed in New York. That is, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and the Charter of the United Nations. It must end. For the sake of the people of Ukraine, Russia and the whole world.”

Guterres said one of the goals of his trip was to broker safe passage for trapped Ukrainians at a steel mill in Mariupol. So far, he said, nearly 500 civilians have been evacuated after living under relentless bombardment and scarcity of food and water.

Guterres said a third evacuation was underway, but declined to go into details in order to “avoid undermining any potential success.”

– Amanda Macias

Officials say US intelligence helped Ukraine sink Russian flagship Moskva

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva caught fire and was evacuated after a Ukrainian attack on the ship. Shown here is Moskva off the coast of Syria in 2015.

Max Delaney | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

The intelligence shared between the United States helped Ukraine The sinking of the Russian cruiser Moskva, US officials told NBC News, underscored a US role as perhaps the most embarrassing blow to Vladimir Putin’s turbulent invasion of Ukraine.

Guided missile cruiser carrying a crew of 510, the Moskva was the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. It sank on April 14 after being hit by a Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missilesUS officials said. Moscow said the ship sank after a fire broke out.

The attack occurred after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odessa, US officials told NBC News. The US identified it as Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.

Officials said the United States did not know in advance that Ukraine would target Moskva, and was not involved in the decision to strike. Officials added that naval intelligence is being shared with Ukraine to help it defend against attack by Russian ships.

Read the The full story is here.

– Ken Dylanian, Courtney Cope and Carol E. Lee, NBC News

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

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