Russia-Ukraine live updates: Russia sets new Mariupol surrender deadline. “Battle for Donbas” begins.

Ukrainian officials said April 18 that the Russian assault stretched along nearly the entire front line in Donbas and Kharkiv. (Video: Reuters)

Today at 12: 20 a.m. EDT|Updated today at 8: 17 a.m. EDT

Today at 12: 20 a.m. EDT|Updated today at 8: 17 a.m. EDT

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Russia demanded the surrender Tuesday of Ukraine’s remaining holdouts in the devastated southern port city of Mariupol, as local leaders said the steel plant where fighters and civilians are holing up was under attack. Russian Defense Ministry stated that all who surrender their arms will be protected. The Kremlin would have control of Mariupol, a crucial land route linking Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russian troops “have begun the battle for Donbas” as part of its long-planned offensive in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Tuesday the “next phase” of its military operation was underway and would seek the “complete liberation” of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The regional governor of Luhansk said Tuesday that Kreminna, in eastern Ukraine, is “under the control” of Russian forces, and that the Ukrainian forces who were fighting to defend it have taken up new positions. Russia is also advancing towards the Kharkiv region. The Pentagon warned that Russia appears to be learning from its failure to take Kyiv, attempting to improve its command and control as well as logistics.

Zelensky said in his nightly video address that tough Western sanctions have made it daunting for Russia to replenish its weapons supplies, and the White House said it has not ruled out additional sanctions on Russia. Biden will host Tuesday’s call with allies from the United States to talk about the current war. His administration said it has stepped up equipment deliveries to Ukraine, which are taking place at “unprecedented speed.”

Here’s what to know

  • The State Department called deadly Russian airstrikes that hit the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Monday part of Moscow’s “campaign of terror.” Ukrainian officials said seven people were killed and 11 injured.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said his efforts to mediate with Russian President Vladimir Putin have stalled since the discovery of hundreds of civilian bodies in Bucha.
  • U.S. immigration officials detained more than 5,000 migrants from Ukraine at the nation’s land, sea and air borders in March, with a significant increase in those seeking refuge at the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates.

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