Ukraine-Russia war LIVE: Evil Putin ally slams invasion for ‘dragging on’ amid bloody battle to save Mariupol civilians

PUTIN’s key ally has admitted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “dragging on” amid a bloody final stand at Mariupol’s Asovstal steel plant.

Long-time Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko attempted to defend the war in Ukraine in an interview – but indicated his frustration at Putin’s strategy, which has not gone to plan.

Ruthless Lukashenko told AP Putin had no choice but to invade because Ukraine was “provoking Russia“.

But he added: “I am not immersed in this problem enough to say whether it goes according to plan, like the Russians say, or like I feel it. I want to stress one more time: I feel like this operation has dragged on.”

It comes as a Ukrainian commander said Putin VIOLATED ceasefires in Mariupol leaving Ukrainian wounded soldiers “dying in agony”.

The Deputy Ukrainian commander has also accused the Russian troops of preventing evacuations of civilians from the Mariupol steelworks.

And Russian forces have reportedly practiced nuclear missile strikes and chemical attacks in chilling war games on NATO’s border.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

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