Russia said on Friday that it will fight to capture control of all of Ukraine’s east and south, but Kiev promised to protect the country as the UN confirmed the deaths of hundreds of people in one town.

The Ukrainian government stated that its besieged forces were still battling inside a massive steelworks in the destroyed port city of Mariupol, bolstered by a supply of Western munitions.

Nearly two months after President Vladimir Putin launched a surprise invasion of Russia’s Western-leaning neighbour, the Kremlin has declared Mariupol “liberated,” which is important to Russia’s war preparations.

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