The British Foreign Office said on Sunday that Russia was using a troll factory to spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine on social media and target politicians across a number of countries, including Britain and South Africa. “We cannot allow the Kremlin and its shady troll farms to invade our online spaces with their lies about Putin’s illegal war,” said the foreign secretary, Liz Truss.
Twenty wounded civilians were able to evacuate from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, and were likely on their way to Zaporizhzhia. Satellite images show nearly all the buildings of the plant have been destroyed.
Ukraine has carried out a prisoner exchange with Russia, with seven soldiers and seven civilians coming home. One of the soldiers was a woman who was five months pregnant, Ukraine deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said online. She did not say how many Russians had been transferred. On Thursday, Ukraine said Russia had handed over 33 soldiers.
The Hollywood actor and UN humanitarian envoy Angelina Jolie made a surprise visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday, the regional governor said on Telegram. Jolie, who has been a UNHCR special envoy for refugees since 2011, came to speak to displaced people who found refuge in Lviv, including children undergoing treatment for injuries sustained in the missile strike on the Kramatorsk railway station in early April. “She was very moved by [the children’s] stories,” Maksym Kozytskiy wrote.
The UK Foreign Office is investigating reports that a British national has been detained by Russia after a video emerged showing a man in camouflage clothes being questioned. In the unverified video, reportedly shown on Russian television, the man appeared to give his name as Andrew Hill. He spoke with an English accent, has his arm in a sling, a bandage around his head, and a bloodied hand.
In an address on Saturday night, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Ukraine would be free. “All … temporarily occupied cities and communities in which the occupiers are now pretending to be masters will be liberated … The occupiers are still on our land and still do not recognise the apparent failure of their so-called operation. We still need to fight and direct all efforts to drive the occupiers out.”
The mayor of Mariupol said the Russian military had killed twice as many of the city’s residents in two months of war as Nazi Germany did in two years of occupation during the second world war. Vadym Boychenko said that the Nazis killed 10,000 civilians; the Russians had doubled that number, Boychenko said, as well as deporting more than 40,000 people.
Ukrainian police found the bodies of three civilian men in the Bucha district north of Kyiv, tied up and in some cases gagged, the regional police chief said. He said the bodies were found to have several gunshot wounds and signs of torture.
Russian troops have been forced to merge and redeploy units from their “failed advances” in Ukraine’s north-east, the UK Ministry of Defence has said, as both Kyiv and Moscow deal with serious losses in the Donbas region. “Russia hopes to rectify issues that have previously constrained its invasion by geographically concentrating combat power, shortening supply lines and simplifying command and control.”
Ukraine’s military estimated 23,200 Russian soldiers had been killed since the beginning of the invasion, while Ukrainian prosecutors said they had recorded more than 8,000 war crimes by Russian troops and were investigating 10 Russian soldiers for suspected atrocities in Bucha near Kyiv.
Russia has said the risks of nuclear war should be kept to a minimum, according to its Tass news agency. Vladimir Yermakov, the foreign ministry’s head of nuclear non-proliferation, said: “The risks of nuclear war, which should never be unleashed, must be kept to a minimum, in particular through preventing any armed conflict between nuclear powers. Russia clearly follows this understanding.”
Russia and the west are nearer to nuclear war than during the Cuban missile crisis, the great-granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev has said. Nina Khrushcheva, an academic whose great-grandfather was leader of the Soviet Union during the 1962 crisis, warned the war in Ukraine appeared to be more dangerous as neither side seemed willing to “back off”. She said both the US president John F Kennedy and Khrushchev agreed to de-escalate as soon as nuclear war became a real threat.
Russian forces have stolen “several hundred thousand tonnes” of grain in the areas of Ukraine they occupy, according to Ukraine’s deputy agriculture minister. Speaking to Ukrainian national TV, Taras Vysotskiy expressed concern that most of what he said was 1.5m tonnes of grain stored in occupied territory could also be stolen by Russian forces.
A Russian missile strike on Odesa airport has damaged the runway, rendering it unusable, but there were no casualties reported.
Russia bombarded Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, as part of its renewed push in the east of the country, while claiming the “draft of a possible treaty” between the two countries was being discussed on a daily basis.