Russia is building earthen berms to protect military positions northwest of kyiv, satellite images show

As Friday draws to a close in Ukraine, here’s a look at the latest developments in the war so far.

Hundreds probably still under the rubble: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that 130 people had been rescued so far from the bombed-out theater in the city of Mariupol. Hundreds of people had taken refuge in the theater when it was bombed on Wednesday. Speaking on Ukrainian TV, Zelensky said rescue operations were continuing at the site despite the difficulties. However, hundreds of people are still under rubble in Mariupol, Zelensky added.

Areas affected: Lviv, Kramatorsk and a district of kyiv were hit by Russian weapons, according to Ukrainian authorities. But the Ukrainian military offered a positive assessment of the Russian advance on kyiv, saying the two main Russian routes to attack the capital have been blocked. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also said on Friday that the United States had “seen a number of missteps” from Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that he was concerned about the situation in Mariupol, the Ukrainian city that has been hit by constant shelling in recent days, according to the Elysee Palace.

Evacuations: Nine corridors to evacuate civilians from towns hard hit by Russian attacks had been agreed for Friday, according to the Ukrainian government. For the second day in a row, one of the agreed corridors connects the beleaguered southeastern city of Mariupol with Zaporizhzhia, which remains under Ukrainian control.

New satellite images from Maxar Technologies show that more areas of Mariupol have been destroyed by intense firefights between Russian and Ukrainian military. Just southwest of Mariupol, a line of cars – residents evacuated from the city – was seen driving along the highway towards Berdyansk.

The deaths accumulate: The United Nations estimates that more than 800 Ukrainian civilians have lost their lives since the Russian invasion began on February 24, but “believes the actual numbers to be considerably higher”.

Biden and Xi speak: US President Joe Biden told CNN his call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday “went well”. According to the White House, Biden “outlined the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia” during a nearly two-hour phone call with the Chinese leader.

Christi C. Elwood