May 9, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Christian Edwards, Eliza Mackintosh, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Mike Hayes and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, May 10, 2023
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8:33 p.m. ET, May 8, 2023

Russia-backed officials depart occupied city on Black Sea, Ukraine's military says

From CNN’s Kostan Nechyporenko in Kyiv

A significant part of the Russian-installed administration of Skadovsk left the occupied city on Sunday, Ukrainian military officials said. 

The activities of Skadovsk’s district and city administrations were “suspended,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its daily update.

On Saturday night, “the occupiers loaded documentation, office equipment, and other property of state institutions into vehicles,” before leaving with their families on Sunday morning, Ukrainian military officials said.

The General Staff claims the Russians planned to transport the “documents and looted property," by sea, further into Russian-held territory. 

Skadovsk sits on the Black Sea. 

The statement said similar activity was occurring in the nearby villages of Krasne, Shevchenko, Shyroke, Ulianivka and Petrivka, as well as in Mykhailivka — some 28 kilometers (17 miles) away. 

8:32 p.m. ET, May 8, 2023

Mariupol occupiers are mobilizing Russian citizens, city's exiled council claims

From CNN’s Kostan Nechyporenko in Kyiv

Kremlin-backed authorities in the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol are in the process of mobilizing residents who have Russian passports, the exiled city council claimed on Telegram. 

“Mobilization has begun in Mariupol. This is reported by the city residents themselves,” the statement read, adding that men working in the public sector were the first to receive referrals from the military commissariat for medical examinations.

The Telegram post included a photo of a document which the authors said is a referral, received by a resident. 

"Draft boards have started working in Mariupol. The occupiers are already looking for citizens who do not fulfill their 'military obligations'. The enemy plans to conscript men until August," said Vadym Boichenko, the exiled Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol.

Denis Pushilin, head of the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, which administers Mariupol, signed a decree allowing the mobilization of Russian citizens in the occupied region on March 31. 

9:07 p.m. ET, May 8, 2023

"No way out for us": Civilians await evacuation as Ukraine increases pressure on frontline towns

From CNN's Nick Paton Walsh, Natalie Gallón, Kosta Gak, and Peter Rudden in Mala Tokmachka, Ukraine

In this vacant and damaged village, news of Russia’s evacuation of occupied towns along the southern front cannot come soon enough.

Ukrainian-held Mala Tokmachka, just over a mile (2 kilometers) from Russian-held territory in the Zaporizhzhia region, has been left ghostly and battered by shelling, leaving the central square pockmarked, and the school’s facade torn off. Shrapnel is mixed in with fallen pine cones.

Raisa, a local woman passing some Ukrainian soldiers on her bicycle, said the explosions had picked up recently and she had heard small arms fire from the nearby highway. “There is no way out for us,” she said, of the remaining 200 civilians. “We have no water, gas or power for more than a year.”

Just 9 miles (15 kilometers) down the road is Polohy, a town that Russian occupiers said Friday they would evacuate, a process which local sources said had got underway at the weekend, although some Russian soldiers apparently remain in place.

The town is a focus for Ukraine's spring counteroffensive. While Kyiv has said it will not announce its commencement so as to cause maximum surprise, recent statements from Russian officials in occupied areas about attacks have indicated at least its opening stages are likely underway.

Polohy is one of over a dozen frontline settlements that occupying forces announced Friday would be emptied of civilians. A Russian occupation official, Yuri Balitsky, said “we cannot risk the safety of people and will provide funds for organized travel, lump sum payments, accommodation and meals.” He added children would undergo rehabilitation and rest in children’s camps,” echoing the language of previous incidents that Ukraine has dubbed forced deportation and on which the International Criminal Court based a war crimes indictment against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read the full story here.