Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 48 of the invasion

Unconfirmed reports of Russia using chemical weapons in Mariupol, where Ukrainian authorities say more than 10,000 civilians have been killed

  • Vladimir Putin has attempted to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying he took “the right decision”. Visiting Vostochny Cosmodrome on Tuesday, he said: “On the one hand we are helping and saving people, and on the other we are simply taking measures to ensure the security of Russia itself. It’s clear that we didn’t have a choice. It was the right decision.”

  • Ukraine is checking unverified information that Russia may have used chemical weapons while besieging the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Malyar, has said. The local council in Mariupol wrote on the Telegram messaging service that it had not yet been possible to examine the area where the unknown substance was allegedly used because of enemy fire.

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  • Russia’s defence ministry has not made any comment on the allegations. The pro-Russia separatist forces of the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk have issued a denial that they have used any chemical agents.

  • Russia’s defence ministry says it has destroyed Ukrainian ammunition depots in the Khmelnytskyi and Kyiv regions.

  • Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said nine humanitarian corridors had been agreed to evacuate civilians on Tuesday. That included from Mariupol, although civilians will have to use private cars.

  • More than 10,000 civilians have died in Mariupol, the city’s mayor has said. Vadym Boychenko said the death toll could surpass 20,000, as weeks of attacks and privation had left bodies “carpeted through the streets”.

  • Ukraine’s ​president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, partly blamed the Ukrainian loss of life on western nations that had not sent weapons to bolster the war effort. “Unfortunately, we are not getting as much as we need to end this war sooner,” he said. “Time is being lost. The lives of Ukrainians are being lost … And this is also the responsibility of those who still keep the weapons Ukraine needs in their armoury.”

  • More than 6,000 alleged war crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine are under investigation, Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office has said.

  • Nearly two-thirds of all Ukrainian children have fled their homes in the six weeks since Russia’s invasion.

  • The telecoms equipment maker Nokia is pulling out of the Russian market. The decision will affect about 2,000 workers.

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Contributors

Samantha Lock and Martin Belam

The GuardianTramp

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