Russian forces were fighting in the center of Mariupol, the Russian defense ministry said. “In Mariupol, units of the Donetsk People’s Republic, with the support of the Russian armed forces, are squeezing the encirclement and fighting against nationalists in the city center,” the ministry said in Moscow. By seizing the strategic port city, Russian President Vladimir Putin could create a corridor between Russia, the Donbas area, and Crimea and take full control of the Sea of Azov. Mariupol has been besieged for weeks and has endured relentless shelling by the Russians. On Wednesday, Mariupol’s theater was destroyed during a bombardment. Russia denied striking it. Italy said it would rebuild it.

Several missiles hit an aircraft maintenance facility in Lviv, according to Mayor Andriy Sadovyi. He wrote on Telegram work in the plant had stopped before the strike and no casualties were reported. A bus repair facility was also hit in the strike. The Ukrainian air force’s western command said the missiles that hit Lviv were launched from the Black Sea. The city near the Polish border has been spared the worst of the Russian attacks so far. However, last weekend, Russian troops launched multiple air raids on a large Ukrainian military facility outside the city, killing at least 35 people.

The EU said that potential “war crimes” in Ukraine would be investigated and prosecuted, joining top US figures in labeling Moscow’s actions thus. The search for survivors continued at the Mariupol theater, which was bombed on Wednesday, with Ukrainian lawmaker Dmytro Gurin telling DW that the attack was “deliberate.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Bundestag, telling the German parliament that “help came too late to stop war.” He also criticized the German government over its economic ties with Russia. Local officials said shelling of the town of Merefa, outside the city of Kharkiv, killed at least 21 people and injured 25. Bilateral talks also continued between Russia and Ukraine, albeit with neither side saying very much publicly on Thursday.

Chapters:
00:00 Latest developments
06:20 Devastation in Mariupol
10:00 Ukrainian MP Yevheniia Kravchuk
16:00 Schwarzenegger campaigns for peace
17:50 Is Russia taking peace talks seriously?
23:30 NATO military maneuvers in Norway

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