Live Updates: Russia’s War in Ukraine

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a warehouse amid Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 23. (Felipe Dana/AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would meet senior US officials in kyiv on Sunday as heavy fighting continued in the east and south of the country over Ukraine’s Easter weekend.

The White House has yet to confirm the visit, which Zelensky said would include US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

As a new day dawns in the capital, here’s what you need to know.

Planned visit: Zelensky said he “expects specific things and specific weapons” from world leaders visiting the country, after announcing he would meet Blinken and Austin in Kyiv on Sunday. The potential visit would be the first by senior US officials since the start of the war. The White House declined to comment on the potential trip.

Odessa toll: At least eight people have died, including a three-month-old baby, following Russian missile strikes on the southwestern port city of Odessa, Zelensky said on Saturday. condemn the attack which took place a day before many Ukrainians celebrate the Easter holiday.

Humanitarian crisis: An evacuation corridor from the besieged southern city of Mariupol was “thwarted” by Russian forces on Saturday, according to a Ukrainian official. Ukrainian officials said more than 100,000 people remained in the bombed city, which the Russian government claims to control. Ukrainian fighters continue to hold their ground in the massive Azovstal steelworks, where civilians have safe for weeks and supplies are running out.

The map of Moscow: Russia revealed the aim of its invasion is to take “full control” of southern Ukraine as well as the eastern Donbass region and to establish a land corridor linking Russia with Crimea, the peninsula it has annexed in 2014. Forces had made no major gains in the past 24 hours in the face of Ukrainian counterattacks.

Forced deportations: Ukrainian officials claimed on Saturday that Russia was forcibly deporting some Mariupol citizens to Primorsky Krai in Russia’s Far East region, some 8,000 kilometers (4,970 miles) from Ukraine. In early April, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk estimated at some 45,000 Ukrainian citizens have been forcibly deported to Russia since the start of the war.

Forced conscription: Ukrainian intelligence services have also accused Russia of plans to recruit Ukrainian civilians occupied areas of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, according to a British military intelligence update on Saturday. It would be in breach of international law, the UK Ministry of Defense said.

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