May 5, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Helen Regan, Andrew Raine, Jack Guy, George Ramsay, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury, Aditi Sangal and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0554 GMT (1354 HKT) May 6, 2022
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11:56 p.m. ET, May 4, 2022

Zelensky: 344 people evacuated from Mariupol area on Wednesday

From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey

Smoke rises from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on May 4.
Smoke rises from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol on May 4. (Alexei Alexandrov/AP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 344 people were evacuated from Mariupol and surrounding areas to Zaporizhzhia on Wednesday, during his nightly address.

“I am grateful to all those who make the evacuation operation successful,” Zelensky said.  

Zelensky also called for a ceasefire to evacuate those who remain in Mariupol. 

“We are negotiating and hope to continue rescuing people from Azovstal, from Mariupol. There are still civilians, women, children. We need a continued ceasefire in order to rescue them,” he said

11:56 p.m. ET, May 4, 2022

Zelensky discussed "scandalous" remarks made by the Russian foreign minister with Israeli prime minister

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett about "scandalous" remarks made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asserting that Hitler had Jewish blood. 

In his nightly address Wednesday, Zelensky said he spoke to Bennett to congratulate him on Israel Independence Day and update him on the situation in the southern city of Mariupol and eastern Ukraine. 

"We also discussed the scandalous and absolutely inadmissible statements by the Russian Foreign Minister who insulted the whole world," the Ukrainian President said. 

In an interview with Italian television Sunday, Lavrov repeated Russia's claim that its invasion of Ukraine is part of efforts to "de-Nazifiy" the country. 

He dismissed the fact that Zelensky is Jewish, saying: "He [Zelensky] puts forward an argument: what kind of Nazism can they have if he is a Jew. I may be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood. It means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews."

Lavrov's remarks sparked fury amongst the Israeli government, who swiftly summoned the Russian Ambassador to Israel.

CNN's Hadas Gold contributed to this report.

11:56 p.m. ET, May 4, 2022

Ukrainian commander at Azovstal plant says "enemy" broke into the plant complex during battles

From CNN's Julia Presniakova and Roman Tymotsko

The commander of the Azov Regiment soldiers inside the Azovstal plant, Lt. Col. Denys Prokopenko, says there are heavy battles inside the complex after Russian forces breached its perimeter. 

“For two days now, the enemy has broken into the territory of the plant. There are heavy bloody battles," he said.

Prokopenko continued, "I am proud of my soldiers who are making superhuman efforts to contain the enemy's onslaught. I thank the whole world for the tremendous support of the Mariupol garrison. The situation is extremely difficult, but we continue to carry out the order to keep the defense."