The Russian Defense Ministry has said it fully controls the territory of the Azovstal steel plant in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. According to the ministry, the last group of 531 Ukrainian fighters have now surrendered. Since May 16, a total of 2,439 Ukrainian soldiers have laid down their arms, Russia says. A ministry spokesman said that Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had informed President Vladimir Putin of “the end of the operation and the complete liberation of the (Azovstal) industrial complex and the city of Mariupol.” The Azovstal plant was the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, the port city besieged by Russian troops since the early days of the invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday lashed out against Russian airstrikes that destroyed a recently renovated cultural center in Lozova, in the eastern Kharkiv region. Seven people, including a child, were injured. “The occupiers have identified culture, education and humanity as their enemies. And they do not spare missiles or bombs,” Zelenskyy wrote on Telegram, describing the attack as “absolute evil” and “absolute stupidity.” Video of the attack shared by Zelenskyy showed black smoke engulfing a large building near apartment complexes and passing cars after a large explosion sent debris flying in all directions. Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko said that Russian troops were deliberately aiming at the building. According to him, two more missiles were repulsed. “Five people were inside the building at the time of the attack. People miraculously survived, almost all of them slightly injured,” the minister wrote on Telegram.
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