Ukraine to hold first war crimes trial of captured Russian

People with a dog ride in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

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People with a dog ride in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Ukraine's top prosecutor says the country plans to hold its first war crimes trial of a captured Russian soldier

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s top prosecutor disclosed plans Wednesday for the first war crimes trial of a captured Russian soldier, as fighting raged in the east and south and the Kremlin left open the possibility of annexing a corner of the country it seized early in the invasion.

Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said her office charged Sgt. Vadin Shyshimarin, 21, in the killing of an unarmed 62-year-old civilian who was gunned down while riding a bicycle in February, four days into the war.

Shyshimarin, who served with a tank unit, was accused of firing through a car window on the man in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka. Venediktova said the soldier could get up to 15 years in prison. She did not say when the trial would start.

Venediktova’s office has said it has been investigating more than 10,700 alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces and has identified over 600 suspects.

Many of the alleged atrocities came to light last month after Moscow's forces aborted their bid to capture Kyiv and withdrew from around the capital, exposing mass graves and streets and yards strewn with bodies in towns such as Bucha. Residents told of killings, burnings, rape, torture and dismemberment.

Volodymyr Yavorskyy of the Center for Civil Liberties said the Ukrainian human rights group will be closely following Shyshimarin's trial to see if it is fair. “It’s very difficult to observe all the rules, norms and neutrality of the court proceedings in wartime,” he said.

On the economic front, Ukraine shut down a pipeline that carries Russian gas across the country to homes and industries in Western Europe, marking the first time since the start of the war that Kyiv disrupted the flow westward of one of Moscow’s most lucrative exports.

But the immediate effect is likely to be limited, in part because Russia can divert the gas to another pipeline and because Europe relies on a variety of suppliers.

Meanwhile, a Kremlin-installed politician in the southern Kherson region, site of the first major Ukrainian city to fall in the war, said officials there want Russian President Vladimir Putin to make Kherson a “proper region” of Russia — that is, annex it.

“The city of Kherson is Russia,” Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Kherson regional administration appointed by Moscow, told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.

That raised the possibility that the Kremlin would seek to break off another piece of Ukraine as it tries to salvage an invasion gone awry. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, which borders the Kherson region, after a disputed referendum in 2014, a move denounced as illegal and rejected by most of the international community.

Kherson, a Black Sea port of roughly 300,000, provides Crimea with access to fresh water and is seen as gateway to wider Russian control over southern Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it would be “up to the residents of the Kherson region after all to decide whether such an appeal should be made or not.” He said any move to annex territory would have to be closely evaluated by legal experts to make sure it is “absolutely legitimate, as it was with Crimea.”

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak mocked the notion of Kherson's annexation, tweeting: “The invaders may ask to join even Mars or Jupiter. The Ukrainian army will liberate Kherson, no matter what games with words they play.”

Inside Kherson, people have taken to the streets to decry the Russian occupation. But a teacher who gave only her first name, Olga, for fear of Russian retaliation said such protests are impossible now because Moscow's troops “kidnapped activists and citizens simply for wearing Ukrainian colors or ribbons.” She said “people are scared of talking openly outside their homes” and “everyone walks on the street quickly.”

“All people in Kherson are waiting for our troops to come as soon as possible," she added. “Nobody wants to live in Russia or join Russia."

On the battlefield, Ukrainian officials said a Russian rocket attack targeted an area around Zaporizhzhia, destroying unspecified infrastructure. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The southeastern city has been a refuge for civilians fleeing the devastated port city of Mariupol.

Russian forces continued to pound the steel plant that is the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, its defenders said. The Azov Regiment said on social media that Russian forces carried out 38 airstrikes in the previous 24 hours on the grounds of the Azovstal steelworks.

The plant has sheltered hundreds of Ukrainian troops and civilians during a monthslong siege.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Ukraine has offered to release Russian prisoners of war if Russia will allow the badly injured fighters to be evacuated.

An adviser to the Mariupol mayor said Russian forces have blocked all evacuation routes out of the city. Petro Andriushchenko said there are few apartment buildings fit to live in and little food or drinking water. He said some remaining residents are cooperating with occupying Russian forces in exchange for food.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested Tuesday that Ukraine’s military is gradually pushing Russian troops away from Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city and a key to Russia’s offensive in the Donbas, the eastern industrial region whose capture the Kremlin says is its main objective.

Ukraine is also targeting Russian air defenses and resupply vessels on Snake Island in the Black Sea in an effort to disrupt Moscow’s efforts to expand its control over the coastline, according to the British Ministry of Defense.

Separately, Ukraine said it shot down a cruise missile targeting the Black Sea port city of Odesa.

Elsewhere, the governor of a Russian region near Ukraine said at least one civilian was killed and six wounded by Ukrainian shelling in the village of Solokhi, near the border. Belgorod Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov's account couldn't be independently verified, but he said the village will be evacuated.

Ukraine’s natural gas pipeline operator said it moved to stop the flow of Russian gas through a compressor station in part of eastern Ukraine controlled by Moscow-backed separatists because enemy forces were interfering with the station's operation and siphoning off gas.

The hub handles about one-third of Russian gas passing through Ukraine to Western Europe. But analysts said much of the gas can be redirected through another pipeline from Russia that crosses Ukraine, and there were indications that was happening. In any case, Europe also gets natural gas from other pipelines and other countries.

It was not clear whether Russia would take any immediate hit, since it has long-term contracts and other ways of transporting gas.

Still, the cutoff underscored the broader risk to gas supplies from the war.

“Yesterday’s decision is a small preview of what might happen if gas installations are hit by live fire and face the risk of extended downtimes,” said gas analyst Zongqiang Luo at Rystad Energy.

In other developments, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry accused Russia of stealing Ukrainian grain and trying to sell it on global markets. The ministry estimates Russia may have already stolen up to 500,000 metric tons of grain valued at more than $100 million.

And U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said a ban on sales of semiconductors and other technology to Russia by the West is limiting Russia’s ability to manufacture military equipment. Ukrainians who have found Russian equipment reported that it was "filled with semiconductors that they took out of dishwashers and refrigerators,” Raimondo said.

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Gambrell reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Yesica Fisch in Bakhmut, David Keyton in Kyiv, Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Mstyslav Chernov in Kharkiv, Lolita C. Baldor in Washington, Kelvin Chan in London and AP's worldwide staff contributed.

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Follow AP's coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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Volunteers exhume the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Credit: Andrii Marienko

Volunteers exhume the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Credit: Andrii Marienko

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Volunteers exhume the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Credit: Andrii Marienko

Credit: Andrii Marienko

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A local residence rides a bike past a destroyed Russian military vehicle in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

A local residence rides a bike past a destroyed Russian military vehicle in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

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A local residence rides a bike past a destroyed Russian military vehicle in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

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A spectator holds up a sign during the soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Ukraine's national soccer team at Borussia Park, Monchengladbach, Germany, Wednesday May 11, 2022. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Credit: Federico Gambarini

A spectator holds up a sign during the soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Ukraine's national soccer team at Borussia Park, Monchengladbach, Germany, Wednesday May 11, 2022. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Credit: Federico Gambarini

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A spectator holds up a sign during the soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Ukraine's national soccer team at Borussia Park, Monchengladbach, Germany, Wednesday May 11, 2022. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Credit: Federico Gambarini

Credit: Federico Gambarini

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Orthodox Sister Evdokia, right, helps Maxim to come up from the crater of an explosion, after Russian shelling next to the Orthodox Skete in honor of St. John of Shanghai in Adamivka, near Slovyansk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

Credit: Andriy Andriyenko

Orthodox Sister Evdokia, right, helps Maxim to come up from the crater of an explosion, after Russian shelling next to the Orthodox Skete in honor of St. John of Shanghai in Adamivka, near Slovyansk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

Credit: Andriy Andriyenko

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Orthodox Sister Evdokia, right, helps Maxim to come up from the crater of an explosion, after Russian shelling next to the Orthodox Skete in honor of St. John of Shanghai in Adamivka, near Slovyansk, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

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Credit: Andriy Andriyenko

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People stand in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

People stand in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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People stand in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A Ukrainian serviceman talks with a local resident after de-mining the residential area after shelling of Russian forces in Maksymilyanivka, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

A Ukrainian serviceman talks with a local resident after de-mining the residential area after shelling of Russian forces in Maksymilyanivka, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A Ukrainian serviceman talks with a local resident after de-mining the residential area after shelling of Russian forces in Maksymilyanivka, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A woman with a child from Siversk look though the window of a bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

A woman with a child from Siversk look though the window of a bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A woman with a child from Siversk look though the window of a bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a site after an airstrike by Russian forces in Bahmut, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a site after an airstrike by Russian forces in Bahmut, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A Ukrainian serviceman inspects a site after an airstrike by Russian forces in Bahmut, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a virtual adress to students of the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) or Sciences Po university, in Paris, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Credit: Thibault Camus

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a virtual adress to students of the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) or Sciences Po university, in Paris, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Credit: Thibault Camus

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gives a virtual adress to students of the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) or Sciences Po university, in Paris, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Credit: Thibault Camus

Credit: Thibault Camus

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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, right, and Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova talk as they stand near a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, right, and Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova talk as they stand near a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, right, and Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova talk as they stand near a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

Credit: Efrem Lukatsky

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People ride in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

People ride in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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People ride in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the Russian-flagged ship Matros Pozynich, center, inside the harbor of Latakia, Syria, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press on Wednesday showed the Russian ship believed to be carrying stolen Ukrainian grain in Latakia, Syria. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

Credit: Planet Labs PBC

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the Russian-flagged ship Matros Pozynich, center, inside the harbor of Latakia, Syria, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press on Wednesday showed the Russian ship believed to be carrying stolen Ukrainian grain in Latakia, Syria. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

Credit: Planet Labs PBC

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This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the Russian-flagged ship Matros Pozynich, center, inside the harbor of Latakia, Syria, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. Satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press on Wednesday showed the Russian ship believed to be carrying stolen Ukrainian grain in Latakia, Syria. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

Credit: Planet Labs PBC

Credit: Planet Labs PBC

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A girl with her grandparents from Lyman ride in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

A girl with her grandparents from Lyman ride in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A girl with her grandparents from Lyman ride in the bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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Police and volunteers exhume the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Credit: Andrii Marienko

Police and volunteers exhume the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Credit: Andrii Marienko

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Police and volunteers exhume the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, close to Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Credit: Andrii Marienko

Credit: Andrii Marienko

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In this photo provided by Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office, an Azov Special Forces Regiment's serviceman, injured during fighting against Russian forces, poses for a photographer inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Dmytro 'Orest' Kozatskyi/Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office via AP)

Credit: Dmytro 'Orest' Kozatskyi

In this photo provided by Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office, an Azov Special Forces Regiment's serviceman, injured during fighting against Russian forces, poses for a photographer inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Dmytro 'Orest' Kozatskyi/Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office via AP)

Credit: Dmytro 'Orest' Kozatskyi

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In this photo provided by Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office, an Azov Special Forces Regiment's serviceman, injured during fighting against Russian forces, poses for a photographer inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Dmytro 'Orest' Kozatskyi/Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office via AP)

Credit: Dmytro 'Orest' Kozatskyi

Credit: Dmytro 'Orest' Kozatskyi

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A boy from Siversk looks though the window of a bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

A boy from Siversk looks though the window of a bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A boy from Siversk looks though the window of a bus during evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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Spectators hold Ukraine flags and banners during the soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Ukraine's national soccer team at Borussia Park, Monchengladbach, Germany, Wednesday May 11, 2022. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Credit: Federico Gambarini

Spectators hold Ukraine flags and banners during the soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Ukraine's national soccer team at Borussia Park, Monchengladbach, Germany, Wednesday May 11, 2022. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Credit: Federico Gambarini

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Spectators hold Ukraine flags and banners during the soccer match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Ukraine's national soccer team at Borussia Park, Monchengladbach, Germany, Wednesday May 11, 2022. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)

Credit: Federico Gambarini

Credit: Federico Gambarini

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A woman from Siversk carries her belongings during an evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

A woman from Siversk carries her belongings during an evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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A woman from Siversk carries her belongings during an evacuation near Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

Credit: Evgeniy Maloletka

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine hold Ukrainian flag as they meet with Ukrainian community during a flash mob at the Eurovision Village in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Credit: Luca Bruno

Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine hold Ukrainian flag as they meet with Ukrainian community during a flash mob at the Eurovision Village in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Credit: Luca Bruno

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine hold Ukrainian flag as they meet with Ukrainian community during a flash mob at the Eurovision Village in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Credit: Luca Bruno

Credit: Luca Bruno