Russia claims that more than 1,000 Ukrainian marines have surrendered in Mariupol, a development that, if true, would mean Ukraine has lost its first major city since the Russian invasion began, per Reuters. The news comes via Russia's Defense Ministry, which said that 1,026 soldiers from Ukraine's 36th Marine Brigade put up the white flag, including 162 officers. While Ukraine's Defense Ministry conceded that Russian forces were continuing their assault on the port city, a spokesman says there was no information on any surrender. More on the war in Ukraine:
- Meeting of the presidents: The leaders of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania headed to the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, reports Al Jazeera. "On our way to Kyiv, to a city that has suffered terribly," Estonian President Alar Karis tweeted of his trip with Gitanas Nauseda (Lithuania), Andrzej Duda (Poland), and Egils Levits (Latvia).
- Macron won't say 'genocide': Despite US President Biden using that term this week, the French president remains wary, per the Washington Post. Macron says he's reluctant to describe the atrocities Russian troops are carrying out in Ukraine with that word because "an escalation of rhetoric" won't help stop the war, and because Ukrainians and Russians "are brothers."
- Going after predators: The UN's refugee agency has asked the British government to target a "Homes for Ukraine" scheme in which single UK men are matched up with Ukrainian women who've fled their home country, per the Guardian. The agency's request comes after reports that women, with kids and without, may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation there.
- Zelensky's wife: CNN has an interview with the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, in which she says she hasn't seen her husband in a month, and that their two children, 9-year-old Kyrylo and 17-year-old Sasha, "have grown dramatically during this time."
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