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Another rescue effort underway in Mariupol; U.S. intel helped Ukraine sink warship

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said May 4 that there was heavy fighting at the Azovstal steel plant where Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were holding out. (Video: Reuters)
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MUKACHEVO, Ukraine — Despite Moscow’s promises of a cease-fire, Russian forces are relentlessly attacking the besieged steel plant in Mariupol, where Ukrainian holdout fighters are struggling to repel an increasingly fierce assault and civilians are desperately awaiting another evacuation convoy set to arrive Friday.

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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.

Meanwhile, more details of the American effort to aid Kyiv on the battlefield emerged, with U.S. officials telling The Post that the United States provided the Ukrainian military with intelligence that helped it attack and sink the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. One official said the United States did not know of the strike in advance but said the United States shares maritime information with Ukraine to help it defend against threats.

Here’s what else to know

  • The top U.N. human rights official said there “seems to be no end in sight” for the suffering in Ukraine, citing gross rights violations, including executions, detentions and sexual violence.
  • The United States and Britain say they have seen no signs that Belarus aims to join ally Russia’s invasion, even after its newly announced military drills. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he did not expect the war to “drag on this way.”
  • First lady Jill Biden will travel to Romania and Slovakia this weekend, where she plans to spend Mother’s Day with Ukrainian mothers who left their home country during the Russian invasion.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a rare apology on Thursday to Israel over recent antisemitic comments by Russia’s foreign minister.
  • The Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.