The Ukrainian government said on Saturday (23) that Russian forces again bombed the Azovstal steel plants in Mariupol, where about 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers and at least 1,000 civilians are resisting the occupation of the southern city.
This information was confirmed by Oleksiy Aristovich, adviser to the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the Ukrinform portal. “The unpleasant news is that the enemy is trying to completely suppress the resistance of the Mariupol defenders in the Azovstal region,” he explained.
Moscow this week declared victory in Mariupol but did not enter Azovstal, a complex considered one of Europe’s largest mining plants. On this occasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered no attacks there to ensure the safety of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.
But, according to Aristovich, the Russian army has resumed “air attacks on the territory of the factory, on the defensive lines of our troops and is trying to carry out offensive operations.” Moscow has not yet commented.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyal, at a press conference in Washington, declared that the situation in Mariupol, under constant and constant bombardment by the Russians, was “the worst humanitarian disaster since the Russian invasion.”
“We will see the terrible atrocities committed by the Russians when liberating the city,” he added, noting that “the Moscow forces destroy everything.”
It is estimated that at least 100,000 residents remain trapped in the port city. In addition, Kyiv believes that the death toll in Mariupol is at least 20,000.
On Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk said that Ukraine would make another attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol. “Today we are once again trying to evacuate women, children and the elderly,” he said on his Facebook account, adding that civilians had begun to gather near a shopping mall in the city.
A video released by Ukrainska Pravda shows women, girls and boys, as well as children, in bunkers at Azovstal’s steel mills. In the recording, soldiers can be seen going downstairs with large bags and distributing what could be candy.
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