Fate of Azovstal soldiers unclear, lifelong demanded against Russian soldier | NOW

It is not clear how many Ukrainian soldiers have been withdrawn from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. The International Red Cross (ICRC) has been registering the prisoners of war since Tuesday, but has been trying to find out where the fighters are being taken for just as long. The US government also wants to arm Ukraine against the Russian fleet and has demanded life in the first trial against a Russian soldier.

First of all, the prisoners of war from Mariupol. More than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered in recent days, according to Russia, and another 771 Ukrainian soldiers have been added in the past 24 hours. This information has not been independently verified.

Kyiv has not commented on the numbers of evacuees. It is estimated that some two thousand soldiers defended the steel factory in Mariupol, which they gave up this week after 82 days of fighting. The government of Volodymyr Zelensky wants to exchange the soldiers for Russian prisoners of war, but many Russian politicians are advocating trial by Moscow.

A Russian soldier who will not be extradited is 21-year-old Vadim Shishimarin. He is being prosecuted for committing a war crime: shooting unarmed civilians. On Thursday, it was announced that the Ukrainian prosecutor has demanded a life sentence against him.

That was in line with expectations. The Russian soldier has confessed and says that he shot and killed a civilian on the orders of another soldier.

Shishimarin spoke to his widow in court on Thursday. In conversation with her, he asked for forgiveness. The woman said she cannot forgive him, but she feels sorry for him.

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US wants to arm Ukraine against Russian fleet

The United States wants to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons to fight the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. The administration of President Joe Biden is exploring options to provide advanced anti-ship missiles to the Ukrainian military.

With the missiles, Ukraine could end the Russian naval blockade. There are an estimated 20 Russian naval vessels, including submarines, in the Black Sea. US military experts suspect 24 anti-ship missiles should be enough to force the ships to withdraw.

Kyiv has repeatedly asked for the weapons, partly to prevent shelling of cities. However, the US parliament fears that the use of more powerful weapons could exacerbate the conflict. On Thursday, the Senate approved a huge aid package of 40 billion dollars (37.7 billion euros) for Ukraine.

Massacre after shelling in eastern Ukrainian city

At least 12 people were killed and 40 injured in shelling on the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk on Thursday, Governor Serhiy Gaidai said.

The city is said to have been the target of bombing from early in the morning until late at night. It is not clear how many victims have been killed in places where there is still shooting.

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