Ukraine says 60 feared dead after Russian bomb hits school

The regional governor said almost the entire village of Bilohorivka had been seeking shelter in the school's basement, ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia reports

Dozens of people are feared dead after a Russian bomb destroyed a school in Ukraine's Donbas region.

The governor of Luhansk province said the school in the village of Bilohorivka had caught fire after the bombing on Saturday. Emergency crews found two bodies and rescued 30 people, he said.

About 90 people had been sheltering in the school's basement, but Governor Serhiy Haidai said on the Telegram messaging app that "most likely, all 60 people who remain under the rubble are now dead".

He added Russian shelling had also killed two boys, aged 11 and 14, in the nearby town of Pryvillia.

The most intense fighting in recent days has been in eastern Ukraine, where the two sides are entrenched in a fierce battle to capture or reclaim territory.

Moscow's offensive there has focused on the Donbas, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting since 2014.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted that she was "horrified" by Russia's attack on the school.

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Elsewhere, Russia was aiming to demonstrate its success in its conquest of the besieged port city of Mariupol in time for its Victory Day celebrations on Monday.

All of the remaining women, children and older civilians who had been sheltering with Ukrainian fighters in a sprawling steel mill in Mariupol were evacuated on Saturday.

The troops still inside the Azovstal plant have refused to surrender - they are the final stand against a complete takeover of Mariupol by Russia.

Captain Sviatoslav Palamar, the deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, a Ukrainian National Guard battalion holding the steel mill, told an online news conference on Sunday that the site was targeted overnight by three fighter jet sorties, artillery and tanks.

“We are under constant shelling,” he said, adding that Russian infantry tried to storm the plant - a claim Russian officials denied in recent days - and to lay landmines. Captain Palamar said there was a “multitude of casualties” at the plant.

Capturing Mariupol would give Moscow a land bridge to the Crimean Peninsula, annexed from Ukraine during a 2014 invasion.

In a sign of the dogged resistance that has sustained the fighting into its 11th week, satellite photos show how Ukraine has struck Russian positions on Snake Island, which was captured in the war's first days and has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

This satellite image shows thick black smoke rising after a suspected Ukrainian drone strike on Russian positions on Snake Island on Friday. Credit: AP

In the key Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa, at least five explosions were heard, local media said. Multiple photos and videos appeared to show trails and clouds of smoke in the sky above the city. There have been no reports of casualties, however.

Meanwhile, western military analysts said a Ukrainian counteroffensive was advancing around the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv.

Ukrainian leaders warned that attacks would only worsen in the lead-up to Victory Day, when Russia celebrates Nazi Germany’s defeat in 1945 with military parades.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released a video address on Sunday marking the day of the Allied victory in Europe 77 years ago, drawing parallels between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the evils of Nazism.

“Every year, on May 8, along with the whole civilised world, we pay our respects to everyone who defended the planet against Nazism during World War II,” President Zelenskyy said, adding that prior generations of Ukrainians understood the significance of the words “never again,” a phrase often used as a vow to never allow a repeat of the horrors of the Holoucaust. “We hadn’t any notion that our generation will witness the abuse of these words,” he added.

Ukraine's leader held talks with Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden and leaders from other G7 nations on Sunday to discuss further support for Ukraine.

The G7 – the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan – reassured the Ukrainian president of its "continued readiness to undertake further commitments to help Ukraine secure its free and democratic future, such that Ukraine can defend itself now and deter future acts of aggression”.

The talks came after an announcement that the UK would provide an extra £1.3 billion in military aid in a dramatic escalation of assistance.