Turning now to the devastated southern city of Mariupol – and officials there say Saturday’s planned evacuation of civilians via a humanitarian corridor has not taken place.

Some 200 people had gathered at a meeting point in the city to be evacuated by bus to Zaporizhzhia, an aide to the city’s mayor said on Telegram.

But they were dispersed by Russian forces, who warned them of impending shelling.

At least five people have died after Russian missile strikes in the major port city of Odesa, the head of President Zelensky’s office has said.

A three-month-old child was among the dead, Andriy Yermak wrote on the messaging service Telegram.

18 others were wounded, he added.

A block of flats was among the buildings that were hit.

Footage has emerged on social media of a building in Odesa that was struck by a Russia missile.

The footage, which has been verified by the BBC, shows thick black smoke billowing into the air.

The 14-storey block of flats is still smoking here in a residential part of Odesa.

The side of the building is blackened after what looks like an impact to the lower floors. The car park opposite is covered in blown-out glass and debris. Several vehicles are severely damaged.

One man we spoke to outside the block said he had been in his parents’ apartment on the 12th floor when there was a huge explosion. All the windows were shattered.

To leave, they had to push aside the fragments of a door. He says he and his mother had to jump from the first floor to escape.

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Rescue teams are on site, with several fire engines deployed to put out flames several floors up. Firefighters are smashing through flat windows.

The BBC team counted at least five ambulances at the scene, with several victims nursing head wounds. At least one person was taken out on a stretcher.

The bomb disposal unit is also on site, and authorities have pushed the cordon back.

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has said he hopes the conflict in Ukraine will end soon. But speaking on the eve of Orthodox Easter, he stopped short of condemning the war.

“May the Lord first of all reconcile our people in Ukraine, in Donbas, where blood is still being shed,” he said at an outdoor service in Moscow.

The statement echoed President Vladimir Putin’s assertion that Russians and Ukrainians are essentially the same nation.

“God grant that this Easter gift helps those who are involved in this difficult conflict to calm their hearts, minds, souls, so that internecine strife ends as soon as possible and the long-awaited peace reigns,” the patriarch said.

A close Putin ally, he has previously made statements backing Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine and angered some within the Russian Orthodox Church at home and abroad.

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