Government Russia On Thursday (21) he said he had captured Mariupol, the city most under attack since the beginning of the Russian invasion Ukraine It is considered a strategy for Moscow. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had given up the capture of the Azovstal mineral complex, where more than 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are concentrated.
The Ukraine He did not confirm the fall of Mariupol but stated that the Russian forces were unable to conquer The complex with an area of \u200b\u200b6 km2, many tunnels and underground passages, as well as dozens of sheds. Azovstal is one of the largest metallurgical companies all over Europe and is located in the city port area, which is strategic by Russia Precisely because it has an outlet to the Sea of Azov and is located between the breakaway regions of Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.
Smoke over the Azovstal steel mills and the ruined gates of the Azov shipyard, in a clip taken on April 19 – Photo: Mariupol City Hall / via AFP Image
“I consider the proposed attack on the industrial area inappropriate. I ordered the attack to be cancelled. We need to think… about the lives of our soldiers and officers. There is no need to enter the catacombs and crawl. Underground through the industrial facilities. Close the entire industrial area so that no fly can From escaping,” said the Russian president.
According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Two thousand Ukrainian fighters and civilians Who will resist in the compound? “Fenced and perimeter of steel mill securely closed”. Putin has promised to save the lives of those who surrender.
“Once again, I suggest to all those who did not surrender their weapons to do so, that the Russian side guarantee their lives and be treated with dignity,” Vladimir Putin said in a message to his troops.
president Russia He also said he wanted to save the lives of soldiers and civilians in the city.
Civilian bodies are seen near the Azovstal steel mills in Mariupol, Ukraine. – Photo: Alexei Alexandrov/AP Photo
Previously The Ukraine mentioned that the Russia He withdrew from attacking the compound after realizing that his forces were unable to take it by force.
“They can’t physically control Azovstal, they understood after incurring heavy losses there. Our fighters continue to resistAdviser to the Presidency of the Republic said: Ukraine Oleksiy Aristovich this Thursday (21).
Also according to Aristovich, Russia Transfer of part of the combat forces in Mariupol north Ukraine To reinforce the forces trying to occupy the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Both regions are controlled by pro-Russian separatists but remain Ukrainian.
distance Russia Claims to have taken Mariupol, Deputy Prime Minister UkraineIrina Vereshchuk, Thursday (21), called on the Russians to allow the urgent exit of civilians and wounded soldiers from the Azovstal plant, through a humanitarian corridor.
“There are about 1,000 civilians and 500 wounded there. They all need to be evacuated from Azovstal,” Vereshuk said on social media.
Russian tanks advancing over an area near Mariupol – Photo: Alexei Alexandrov/AP photo
Five million left Ukraine
More than five million people have left Ukraine since Russia invaded the country. On Wednesday (20), a few people managed to escape the port city of Mariupol – one of the biggest targets in the attack that had been besieged for weeks.
A new attempt was made to evacuate about 6000 civilians from Mariupol, but few of them managed to get on the buses. The mayor reported that 100,000 residents remained in the besieged city.
Azovstal was founded nearly 90 years ago in the Soviet era, and employed more than 10,000 people until the Russian invasion.
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