LIVE UPDATES: Russian Forces Have Blocked All Evacuation Routes Out of the City: Mariupol Official

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The latest on the RussiaUkraine crisis, May 12. Click here for updates from May 11.

Russian Forces Have Blocked All Evacuation Routes Out of the City: Mariupol Official

An adviser to the Mariupol mayor said Wednesday that Russian forces have blocked all evacuation routes out of the city.

The adviser, Petro Andriushchenko, said there were few apartment buildings fit to live in after the weeks of bombardment and very little food or drinking water.

Andriushchenko said some residents who have remained in the city are cooperating with the Russian occupying forces in exchange for food.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says Ukraine has offered to release Russian prisoners of war if Russia will allow the badly injured fighters to be evacuated from the Mariupol steel plant.

Russian forces have surrounded the plant, the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the southern port city.

Vereshchuk said no agreement has been reached but negotiations were underway. The fighters trapped in the plant have refused to surrender to the Russians, saying they fear being tortured or killed.

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Ukraine to Hold First War Crimes Trial of Captured Russian

Ukraine’s top prosecutor disclosed plans Wednesday for the first war crimes trial of a captured Russian soldier, as fighting raged in the east and south and the Kremlin left open the possibility of annexing a corner of the country it seized early in the invasion.

Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said her office charged Sgt. Vadin Shyshimarin, 21, in the killing of an unarmed 62-year-old civilian who was gunned down while riding a bicycle in February, four days into the war.

Shyshimarin, who served with a tank unit, was accused of firing through a car window on the man in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka. Venediktova said the soldier could get up to 15 years in prison. She did not say when the trial would start.

Venediktova’s office has said it has been investigating more than 10,700 alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces and has identified over 600 suspects.

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Russia Sanctions Gazprom Germania Group

Russia has imposed blocking sanctions on the entire Gazprom Germania Group taken under control by the German government.

According to a Russian government decision published Wednesday, there are 31 companies on the list, most of which belong to the Gazprom Germania Group.

Germany’s Economy Ministry said it was assessing the impact of the announcement and awaiting further details.

The ministry said that German authorities, who took control of Gazprom Germany in April, are “making the necessary preparations for various scenarios.” It didn’t elaborate, but said that the gas supply in Germany is safe and constantly monitored.

Germany has received about 55 percent of its natural gas from Russia before the war, but has since reduced this share to 35 percent. The German government said it aims to wean the country off Russian gas by 2024 at the latest.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Epoch Times Staff

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