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Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (May 2)

Hryhorii, a member of the Ukrainian military, hugs his wife Oksana, whom he had not seen for nearly a year, after she fled from the Russian-occupied Novomykhailivka village and arrived by car at an evacuation point for people fleeing Mariupol, Melitopol and the surrounding towns under Russian control, on Monday, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.
Chris McGrath
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Hryhorii, a member of the Ukrainian military, hugs his wife Oksana, whom he had not seen for nearly a year, after she fled from the Russian-occupied Novomykhailivka village and arrived by car at an evacuation point for people fleeing Mariupol, Melitopol and the surrounding towns under Russian control, on Monday, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.

As Monday draws to a close in Kyiv and in Moscow, here are the key developments of the day:

Evacuees from Mariupol and its besieged steel plant made their way toward safety. Over the weekend, an evacuation began of about 100 civilians from the Azovstal plant after numerous previous failed efforts. More civilians remain in the sprawling maze under the steelworks facility, alongside thousands of Ukrainian soldiers who have refused to surrender to the Russian forces, which have bombed out and surrounded the area.

Ukrainian officials said a rocket strike hit the port city of Odesa in southwestern Ukraine, killing a child. Ukraine's military also said its drone strike has sunk two more Russian warships in the Black Sea. Russia's Defense Ministry said a strike on a military airfield near Odesa destroyed a runway and a hangar with weapons supplied by Western allies. The Pentagon, meanwhile, has confirmed reports that Russia's top-ranking military officer, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, traveled to the front-line Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

European Union energy ministers met in Brussels to discuss options for dealing with Russia's decision last week to stop delivering natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria. The bloc is also working on a potential EU-wide ban on importing Russian oil. EU countries have already banned Russian coal starting in August.

Israel is demanding an apology from Russia for comments its foreign minister made about Nazism. Sergey Lavrov referred to Adolf Hitler as having "Jewish origins" in response to a question about Russia's claim that it had invaded Ukraine to "denazify" the country, which has a democratically elected Jewish president. It's the strongest condemnation of Russia by Israel since the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24.

First lady Jill Biden will travel to Slovakia and Romania later this week to meet with Ukrainian refugees, aid workers and teachers who are educating displaced Ukrainian children and U.S. military personnel stationed in Romania.

In-depth

Ukraine is the focus, but Russian troops are in several former Soviet republics.

Estonia hosts NATO-led cyber war games, with one eye on Russia.

Angelina Jolie met with refugees and volunteers during a surprise visit to Lviv.

Ukraine says it's shifting from Soviet-based to NATO-quality weapons, aiming to be fully "interoperable" with the military alliance.

Where is the U.S. military aid heading to Ukraine making the most difference? A former National Security Council member shares his thoughts.

Earlier developments

You can read more news from Monday here and more daily recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find NPR's full coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR's State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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