Mariupol’s last stand, Putin’s scary new missile (the Sarmat missile). Source: THE GZERO NEWSLETTER SIGNAL

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Mariupol’s last stand, Putin’s scary new missile

The leader of Ukrainian fighters holed up in the strategic port city’s massive steel plant, their last redoubt, said Wednesday that he and his men were badly outnumbered, low on supplies, and interested in being spirited away to a safe, third country. Meanwhile, a planned evacuation of civilians from the besieged and wrecked city reportedly failed after Ukraine accused Russia of violating a humanitarian ceasefire meant to allow thousands to leave. The overall number of refugees fleeing Ukraine has now surpassed 5 million, according to the UN, with more than 7 million displaced inside the country. With heavy fighting erupting across the Donbas amid Russia’s renewed offensive there, those numbers are expected to rise.

Meanwhile, as Russia-NATO tensions continue to simmer, Russia successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday, which Putin said would make Moscow’s adversaries “think twice” about messing with the Kremlin. The Sarmat missile can carry 10 warheads and is capable of evading “all” missile defenses, Putin said. The editor of Russia’s main defense publication said the weapon could “put an end to the history of any country” that threatens Russia.

For early birds: Be sure to catch Signal writer Alex Kliment, a perpetually recovering Russia analyst, on CBS on Thursday around 7 a.m. EST. He’ll be discussing the latest in Ukraine.

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