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Each week, we round up the must-read for our coverage of the war in Ukraine, from news and features to analysis, visual guides and opinion.

Putin celebrates Victory Day

Russian President Vladimir Putin led celebrations on Monday for the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, as Russian forces stepped up their attacks on Ukraine in one of the deadliest conflicts in Europe since World War II.

Daniel Boffey and Isobel Koshib reported on the anniversary festivities, including a flyover over the nine domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow with supersonic fighters, strategic bombers and, for the first time since 2010, the Il- 80 “doomsday”, which would carry the highest brass in the event of a nuclear war. The parade took place two days after Russian forces shelled a village school in eastern Ukraine, killing 60 people.

Putin repeatedly compared the war in Ukraine to the challenge the Soviet Union faced during Adolf Hitler’s invasion in 1941. He told Russian soldiers they were “fighting for the same as their fathers and grandfathers,” using his VE Day speech to justify his invasion. from Ukraine.

Shaun Walker analyzed Putin’s list of grievances with the West and noted that this year’s invasion of Ukraine has made his message harder to digest, even for many of his fans.

What happened this week in the Russian-Ukrainian war?  Find the essential news and analyzes |  Ukraine
Russian planes over Red Square in Moscow during Victory Day military demonstrations. Photography: Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images

In an episode of Today in Focus, the Moscow correspondent Andre Roth Told Michael Safi that the speech was indicative of Putin’s dilemma – who could make or break his presidency and his legacy in Russia.

If he escalates the conflict, he’s more likely to win the kind of victory he originally hoped for. But if that failed, he would face humiliation. Alternatively, he could claim victory now and seek to defuse the conflict. But would a limited and compromised declaration of victory be considered anything other than a retreat?

Russian bombardment of Ukraine had intensified ahead of the parade, including a direct hit on a school in eastern Ukraine that killed dozens of people, Daniel Boffey and Isobel Koshib report.

Last Mariupol evacuees ‘didn’t think we’d get there’

After two months sheltering in besieged Mariupol, civilians have arrived in Ukrainian-held Zaporizhzhia exhausted and with few possessions, reports Emma Graham Harrison.

The last civilians rescued from the beleaguered Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol reached safety in Ukrainian-held territory on Sunday evening.

The convoy arrived in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia after dark, carrying around 170 evacuees. There were 51 civilians who had taken refuge in the Azovstal complex and around 120 others who had walked or hitchhiked through the town to a pick-up point in a ruined shopping mall.

The journey of just over 200 km (124 miles) took two days as the bus convoy was held up for hours at Russian checkpoints and the hungry and tired residents inside were interrogated.

“I didn’t think we would make it out alive, so I have no plans for my future,” said Natalia, who worked at the Azovstal plant and took refuge for more than two months. in its network of bunkers.

She had fled with little more than a collection of drawings made by children in their shelter; she had organized drawing competitions to keep them busy and kept the images for memory. “I wouldn’t have abandoned them even if they shot me.”

What happened this week in the Russian-Ukrainian war?  Find the essential news and analyzes |  Ukraine
Men, women and children eat and drink in a catering tent in Zaporizhzhia for evacuees after arriving from Mariupol. Photograph: Ed Ram/The Guardian

Russian soldiers refuse to fight in Ukraine

When soldiers from an elite Russian army brigade were ordered in early April to prepare for a second deployment to Ukraine, fear erupted in the ranks, writes Pjotr ​​Sauer.

The unit, stationed in Russia’s far east in peacetime, first entered Ukraine from Belarus when the war began. But after returning to Russia following the initial botched attack, they refused when told they were due to return for another round at the front.

“It soon became clear that not everyone was okay with it. A lot of us just didn’t want to go back,” said Dmitri, a member of the unit who asked not to be identified with his real name “I want to go back to my family – not to a coffin.”

What happened this week in the Russian-Ukrainian war?  Find the essential news and analyzes |  Ukraine
Destroyed vehicles in a landfill near kyiv. Some Russian soldiers are reluctant to return to the front. Photography: Aziz Karimov/Sopa Images/Rex/Shutterstock

Along with eight others, Dmitri told his commanders that he refused to join the invasion. “They were furious. But eventually they calmed down because there was not much they could do,” he said.

Dmitri’s refusal to fight highlights some of the military difficulties the Russian military faced following the Kremlin’s political decision not to officially declare war on Ukraine – preferring instead to describe the invasion, which will soon reach its fourth month, as a “special invasion”. military operation”.

Prosecutors ready for first war crimes trials

Wednesday, Daniel Boffey and Pjotr ​​Sauer had an exclusive story revealing that three Russian POWs accused of targeting or murdering civilians, and a soldier who allegedly killed a man before raping his wife, are set to be in the dock in the first trials for war crimes in the Ukrainian conflict.

More than 10,700 crimes have been recorded since the start of the war by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office, headed by Iryna Venediktova, and a handful of cases have now been filed or are ready for submission in what marks a decisive moment two months after the start of the war. .

Vadim Shysimarin, a 21-year-old commander of the Kantemirovskaya tank division who is being held by Ukraine, appeared in a kyiv court on Friday as the first to stand trial for the alleged murder of a 68-year-old man. years.

It is alleged that Shysimarin, a sergeant, was fighting in the Sumy region of northeastern Ukraine when he killed a civilian on February 28 in the village of Chupakhivka. He is accused of driving a stolen car with four other soldiers as he sought to flee Ukrainian fighters, then shooting the unarmed man on a bicycle while he was talking on the phone.

Shysimarin was ordered “to kill a civilian so he wouldn’t report them to Ukrainian defenders,” according to prosecutors.

The long walk to safety

The goal was to be the invisible man, says Igor Pedin, 61. It was to drift, like a ghost, with his small wheeled bag of supplies and his dog Zhu-Zhu, a nine-year-old mongrel terrier, through the hellish landscape. from the besieged port city of Mariupol, in the badlands of the Russian-occupied territories and in the relative safety of the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia – just 225 km on foot.

Pedin avoided mines and crossed destroyed bridges with his dog and luggage, passing smoking houses and weeping men and women with heartbreaking stories of death and suffering. He also had to deal with nervous, trigger-happy Russian soldiers. But miraculously he did and said Daniel Boffey its extraordinary story.

What happened this week in the Russian-Ukrainian war?  Find the essential news and analyzes |  Ukraine
Igor Pedin and his dog marched 225 km from Mariupol to safety through a conflict zone, filter camps and Chechen checkpoints. Photograph: Vincent Mundy/The Guardian

Our visual guide to the invasion is updated regularly and can be found here.

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.