Russia pounds Ukraine as some civilians escape Mariupol

STORY: Missiles rained down across southern and eastern Ukraine over the weekend, Ukrainian officials said, with one strike destroying the runway at Odesa's airport.

At least three strikes hit an industrial complex in Kharkiv on Saturday, sending plumes of black smoke into the sky as firefighters tackled the blaze.

Moscow has turned its focus toward the south and east after failing to capture the capital Kyiv in a nine-week assault that has flattened cities, killed thousands of civilians and forced more than 5 million to flee.

Russia denies targeting civilians in what it calls a "special military operation."

Its forces have captured the town of Kherson in the south, and have mostly occupied Mariupol, a strategic eastern port city on the Azov Sea.

Russia declared victory in Mariupol on April 21 even as hundreds of Ukrainian troops and civilians took shelter in the Azovstal steel works. The United Nations has urged an evacuation deal, and on Saturday, a Ukrainian fighter inside said some 20 women and children had made it out.

Ukrainian officials say hundreds of Ukrainians remain inside.

To the west in Odesa, a Russian missile strike launched from Crimea destroyed the runway at the main airport, according to local officials.

In the town of Dobropillia in Donetsk, the shockwave from a strike on Saturday blew in the windows of an apartment building and left a large crater in the yard.

One resident said his partner was in a room facing the yard at the time of the attack and was knocked unconscious, adding "Thank God the four children were in the kitchen."

Tanks with white 'Z' markings - a symbol found on Russian military equipment - were captured by the Ukrainian military outside the town.

Russia reported more Ukrainian strikes on its territory on Saturday, and while Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for a spate of such incidents, it described a series of blasts in Russia's south on Wednesday as "karma" for Moscow's invasion.

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