Ukraine latest: Russia not seeking to end war by May 9

The first civilians evacuated from the steelworks in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol have been brought to safety.  BUT efforts to bring out more of those trapped have run into delays.  The last remaining Ukrainian forces are holding out in the Azovstal steel plant, along with hundreds of civilians. And they’re running out of food and water.

Speaking on Italian television at the weekend, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said his country was not aiming to declare victory in the Donbas next Monday.  That’s when Russia marks the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.  It’s not an aim Russia has stated, but one many Western analysts believe Russia was aiming for.  And the offensive in Donbas, as the assault on Kyiv before it, is not going to plan for Russian forces.