Ukraine invasion: As many as 9,000 civilians may be buried in a mass grave outside Mariupol, the city’s mayor said Thursday. “The greatest war crime of the 21st century has been committed in Mariupol. This is the new Babi Yar,” Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said, referring to the site of multiple Nazi massacres in which nearly 34,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed in 1941. Source 3c.
Russian soldier sentenced to life in prison for killing unarmed civilian in first war crimes trial of the Ukraine invasion. A three-judge panel determined that a 21-year-old Russian sergeant from Siberia fatally shot a 62-year-old civilian man in the head in late February. He was given a life sentence. Source 4z.
Vladimir Putin declares Russia is annexing four regions of Ukraine; U.S. Calls action illegal. Putin used a speech in Moscow to falsely proclaim the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson areas of Ukraine were part of Russia, following widely discredited referendums. Ukraine and Western officials characterized the move as a desperate land grab by Putin to disguise growing battlefield losses to Ukraine. Source 3o.
Putin signs laws annexing 4 Ukrainian regions. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed laws absorbing four Ukrainian regions into Russia, a move that finalizes the annexation carried out in defiance of international law. Earlier this week, both houses of the Russian parliament ratified treaties making the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions part of Russia. The formalities followed Kremlin-orchestrated "Referendums" in the four regions that Ukraine and the West have rejected as a sham. Ukraine's counteroffensive is driving back Russian forces; More than 450 settlements in the Kharkiv region have been liberated in the past month, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. Source 8q.
Bomb damages key bridge from Russia to Crimea, may escalate Ukraine… The blast damaged a key supply artery for Moscow and comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin turned 70, dealing him a humiliating blow. Source 2b.