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A police chief inside Azovstal Steel and Iron Works told The Washington Post that the situation on Thursday was “critical,” and Russia’s grip on the rest of the devastated port city appeared to be tightening. Mariupol officials said the Kremlin’s forces are planning a parade there to mark the Russian holiday of Victory Day, and another fleet of vehicles from the United Nations and Red Cross is rushing to the area in an attempt to rescue civilians who remain trapped.
War in Ukraine: What you need to know
The latest: Russia claimed to have seized control of Soledar, a heavily contested salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine where fighting has raged recently, but a Ukrainian military official maintained that the battle was not yet over. The U.S. and Germany are sending tanks to Ukraine.
Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.
Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.