Russia-Ukraine war live updates: Ukrainian leaders urge caution as Victory Day approaches

Russia celebrates the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany on May 9 with a parade, fireworks and speeches, but this year all eyes are on Vladimir Putin. (Video: Jason Aldag/The Washington Post, Photo: Heidi Levine for The Washington Post/The Washington Post)

Today at 12: 55 a.m. EDT|Updated today at 4: 12 p.m. EDT

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RIGA — Bringing home 5 million refugees, restoring the borders to what they were prior to Feb. 24 and joining the European Union are among the ways Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would define a victory, he told a forum on Friday. He stated that Ukraine wanted to return disputed territory and join the European Union and didn’t care if Vladimir Putin lost.

Ahead of Russia’s Victory Day on Monday, leaders across Ukraine are urging caution to residents, warning the country of potential increased missile strikes. Cities were increasing patrols, instituting curfew and reminding citizens not to gather in large groups.

Meantime, heavy fighting continues at the besieged Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol, where Russian forces are intensifying their attack, striking a car during a cease-fire, reportedly killing one and wounding six. Twenty-five civilians were evacuated on buses Friday.

On the battlefield, the governor of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine described the situation there as “continuous horror,” accusing Russian forces on Friday of damaging homes and infrastructure. According to General Valerii Zaluzhnyi of Ukraine, the top military officer, the Ukrainians have moved to the west to stop Russian forces from attacking Kharkiv or Izyum. There are ongoing clashes with the eastern side.

Here’s what else to know

  • More than 500,000 Ukrainians have been deported to Russia since the start of the invasion, Zelensky said. Zelensky stated that Ukrainians were deported to Russia because they had been forced to do so. They are all taken from their homes. Their documents are taken away, their means of communication are taken away.”
  • First lady Jill Biden is visiting Romania and Slovakia this weekend, where she plans to spend Mother’s Day with Ukrainian women.
  • European Union ambassadors are debating plans to ban Russian oil imports. However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned that the proposals would amount to “dropping a nuclear bomb on the Hungarian economy.”
  • The United States provided intelligence that helped the Ukrainian military sink the Moskva, Russia’s Black Sea fleet flagship, U.S. officials told The Post, though they insisted Friday that they did not have any involvement in the decision to strike.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.

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