Ukraine says Odesa airport runway destroyed by Russian attack

  • Russia has carried out missile attacks across southern and eastern Ukraine, including one that destroyed the runway at Odesa airport.
  • A group of 20 civilians have left the Azovstal steelworks, where the last Ukrainian troops are holed up in Mariupol, according to the Azov regiment.
  • A Russian reconnaissance plane briefly violated Sweden’s airspace, Swedish defence officials said.
  • A Russian official told state media that the risks of nuclear war should be kept to a minimum amid conflict in Ukraine.
  • Fourteen Ukrainians including a pregnant soldier have been freed in the latest prisoner exchange with Russian forces, Ukraine says, without revealing the number of Russians returned to Moscow.

INTERACTIVE Russia Ukraine War Who controls what Day 66

Here are the latest updates:

Future of Europe depends on war in Ukraine, Moldova FM says

Moldova’s Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu has said the future of Europe rests on how the war in Ukrainian ends.

“I think the future of the entire continent rests on the capacity of Ukraine to maintain its political system, its country, its resilience,” Popescu told British broadcaster Sky News.

Moldova has been watching the conflict in Ukraine closely, particularly after a senior Russian military official said that Russian forces aim to take full control of southern Ukraine, saying such a move would also open a land corridor to the separatist region of Transnistria, where Russia has stationed troops.

Transnistria, a strip of land with about 470,000 people between Moldova and Ukraine, has been under the control of separatist authorities since a 1992 war with Moldova.

Ballerina Olga Smirnova quits Bolshoi ballet over Ukraine war

A well-known Russian ballerina is starting a new life in the Netherlands because of the war in Ukraine.

Olga Smirnova says she was so ashamed by the invasion that she quit the Bolshoi ballet in Moscow to dance in Amsterdam.

Turkey presidential spokesman meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Saturday, his office said.

There were no immediate details about the content of Kalin’s meetings in Kyiv, but Ankara has been mediating between Ukraine and Russia in efforts to end the war.

Kalin was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal.

Turkey is trying to pave the way for an Istanbul summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zelenskyy.

Russian military plane briefly violates Swedish airspace

A Russian reconnaissance plane briefly violated Sweden’s airspace, say Swedish defence officials, as the Scandinavian country ponders a bid for NATO membership after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“A Russian AN-30 propeller plane violated Swedish airspace on Friday evening,” the Swedish defence ministry said in a statement on Saturday evening, adding that its teams had followed the incident and photographed it.

The ministry said the plane was flying east of Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic, before it headed towards Swedish territory.

“It is totally unacceptable to violate Swedish airspace,” public television SVT quoted Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist as saying.

20 civilians leave Mariupol’s Azovstal site: Ukraine regiment

A group of 20 civilians have left the Azovstal steelworks, where the last Ukrainian troops are holed up in the Black Sea port of Mariupol, according to the Azov regiment.

“Twenty civilians, women and children … have been transferred to a suitable place and we hope that they will be evacuated to Zaporizhzhia, on territory controlled by Ukraine,” said Sviatoslav Palamar, the Azov regiment’s deputy commander.

Earlier on Saturday, a correspondent from Russia’s TASS news agency reported from the city that 25 civilians – including six children younger than 14 – had left the site.

Russian rocket attack destroys Odesa runway

A Russian missile attack destroyed an airport runway in Odesa, Ukraine’s third-largest city and a key Black Sea port, the Ukrainian army said.

In a Telegram post, Ukraine’s Operational Command South said there was no way that the Odesa runway could be used as a result of the missile attack.

Local authorities urged residents of the area to shelter in place as Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, citing army sources, reported that “several” explosions were heard in Odesa.

Odesa’s regional governor said that the missile was fired from Russian-occupied Crimea. Maksym Marchenko said there were no reports of any injuries.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Read the updates from Saturday, April 30 here.

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