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Russia says it has full control of Mariupol steel plant

The Senate approved nearly $40 billion in new military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine on May 19, sending the bill to President Biden to sign into law. (Video: Reuters)
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Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Friday that invading forces had taken “full control” of Mariupol’s steel plant, the final foothold for Ukrainian resistance in the seized port city. The ministry claimed its forces had “completely liberated” the Azovstal plant, where Ukrainian forces and citizens had held out for months in the commercial complex’s passageways and tunnels. Earlier in the day, remaining Ukrainian fighters at the plant were ordered to lay down their arms, Denis Prokopenko, a commander of the far-right Azov Regiment, said in a video.

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While the war crimes trial of Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin adjourned for the weekend, Ukrainian prosecutors identified another soldier they claimed gave orders to wound an unarmed elderly civilian in his own yard, shoot the man’s home with a tank and then set it ablaze. The investigation is ongoing, prosecutors said.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting continued in the eastern Donbas region, where troops are battling against a Russian assault that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described as “hell” in a nightly address. “Donbas is completely destroyed,” he said, accusing Russian forces of bombing the city of Severodonetsk.

Here’s what else to know

  • Globally, the fallout from three months of war is now being felt in Finland after the state-owned energy firm Gasum announced its Russian natural gas supplier, Gazprom, will cut off shipments Saturday.
  • World financial leaders in the Group of Seven nations agreed to provide Ukraine with about $20 billion in short-term economic support to stabilize its economy amid the ongoing invasion.
  • Zelensky blasted an airstrike in the Kharkiv region as “absolutely evil” after a Russian missile reportedly hit a cultural center and injured seven, including an 11-year-old. Three adults were reportedly killed Friday after intense shelling in Severodonetsk hit a school where more than 200 people — including children — were sheltering, according to the regional governor.
  • As the battle rages, the Senate approved President Biden’s $40 billion package of fresh military, humanitarian and financial aid to Ukraine. Biden is set to sign the package into law during a trip to East Asia that starts in South Korea on Friday.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.