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Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed success in capturing the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol yesterday. The statement came despite a few thousand Ukrainian forces holding out in the city’s massive Azovstal steel plant.
Putin ordered Russian troops not to storm the complex, but to create a blockade around the facility. The mill spans nearly 4 square miles and contains an underground labyrinth of tunnels connecting its various buildings; officials say a full-on assault may last months. An estimated 1,000 civilians are also believed to have taken shelter in the plant.
Separately, Russia has been accused of burying civilian victims in mass graves outside Mariupol. Officials say it may represent an effort to hide evidence of war crimes.
In related news, the Biden administration announced another $1.3B in support for Ukraine—$500M for government operations and $800M for military aid. Meanwhile, officials are searching for US sponsors to house up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
See updates on the war here.