- Donetsk is under a mandatory evacuation order, Zelensky said in his nightly address Saturday. He said the government would assist residents who have yet to evacuate from the region. Ukrainian Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said residents in the occupied region would have no heat in winter due to a lack of gas supply, according to Ukrainian state-owned broadcaster Ukrinform.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Saturday it had requested access to a prison in eastern Ukraine where more than 50 Ukrainian POWs are reported to have been killed. Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other of attacking the facility in Olenivka, in a Russian occupied sector of the Donetsk region. Zelensky said his diplomats had sent data about the attack to the U.N.
- Russia has invited experts from the ICRC and United Nations to investigate the Olenivka attack, to ensure the probe is “objective,” the country’s Ministry of Defense said in a Telegram messageon Saturday.
- The Russian Embassy said soldiers of the Azov Regiment, part of the National Guard of Ukraine, deserved a “humiliating death,” in a tweet on Saturday. Twitter flagged the post, saying it violated the platform’s rules, but kept the tweet accessible for the “public’s interest.” Dozens of POWs from the Azov Regiment were killed Friday during a strike in Donbas, and Russia and Ukraine traded blame for the attack.
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to accept a U.S. proposal for the return of WNBA star Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan in a call on Friday. Blinken, addressing reporters at the State Department, did not indicate whether the discussion was fruitful. There is speculation that the U.S. is seeking to swap Whelan and Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence in Illinois.
- Grain shipments from Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea could restart very soon. Ukraine says it is ready to resume exporting grain as part of a U.N.-brokered deal, once the routes for vessels leaving its ports are confirmed. More than 20 million tons of grain have been stuck in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February.
- Ukrainian and E.U. officials have condemned Russia after a graphic series of videos appeared on pro-Russian telegram channels. The videos showed a group of men, one whom was seen wearing pro-Russian symbols, castrate and execute a prisoner dressed in military fatigues with Ukrainian military insignia. E.U. diplomat Josep Borrell described it as a “heinous atrocity.” The Washington Post was unable to confirm the date or location of where the videos were filmed.
- Explosions have been heard for a second consecutive night in Ukraine’s second largest city of Kharkiv, according to state broadcaster Suspilne. There was no immediate word on casualties. Russian shelling early on Friday hit a two-story building and a university.
- One person was killed and six others injured when rockets hit districts of the southern city of Mykolaiv overnight, Mayor Oleksandr Sienkevych said in a Telegram post.
- Russia intends to “dismantle Ukraine as a geopolitical entity and dissolve it from the world map entirely,” U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said on Friday. Russian-installed authorities in newly occupied territories in southern Ukraine are likely under increasing pressure from Moscow to prepare for referendums on joining Russia later in the year, the U.K. defense ministry said Saturday….