Mariupol, clash in Azovstal steelworks. Kiev: “Defenders resist”

The attack of Russian troops onAzovstal steelworks in Mariupol, the last pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the city, continues, but “without success”. This is what the adviser to the armed forces in Kiev, Alexander Stupun, claims in a video update, where he says that “the blockades and attempts to destroy our units in the Azovstal area continue: in some areas, with the support of the Air Force, the Russian enemy resumed offensive to regain control of the facility “, without success.

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“There communication with the Ukrainian defenders was restored“Meanwhile, the Ukrainian deputy and leader of the ‘Servant of the People’ party, David Arakhamia, told Radio Svoboda. And for the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the defender of the steelworks still resist, which refutes Russian claims that Mariupol is now under full control of the Moscow forces. The head of diplomacy in Kiev then stated that the evacuation of civilians from the UN steel plant shows that “where there is political will in Russia, this mechanism can work”. “But we see that they are very reluctant to let people go – he stressed – and every upcoming fair requires a lot of work and a lot of pressure on Russia “.

“For the second day, the enemy managed to enter the territory of the Azovstal factory in Mariupol, where they are hard and bloody battles take place“, then reports the commander of the Azov regiment, Denis Prokopenko, in a video posted on Telegram.” For 70 days now, the Mariupol garrison has stood alone against the enemy’s superior forces, “the commander recalls, saying that he is” proud of my soldiers, who are making superhuman efforts to withstand the pressure of the enemy. And I’m grateful to the whole world for the colossal support of the Mariupol garrison: our soldiers deserve it. “” The situation is extremely complicated, but after all, we continue to carry out the order to maintain the defense, “Prokopenko concludes.

Russian forces broke into the steel plant, where the soldiers of the Azov battalion are barricaded this morning. Well-known Ukrainian journalist Andriy Tsapliyenko announced this morning from his Telegram account, stating that “the occupiers broke into Azovstal.” The attempt, he wrote, is to “suppress the strong opposition from Mariupol’s defenders”. “Putin’s army uses all available weapons”, while “civilians remain bombed in the plant”.

In the steelworks would still remain thirty children. According to what Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik reported to Sky News, about a hundred civilians were evacuated and made safe in Zaporizhzhia. “It’s an incredible success to have been able to get these people out,” he said, adding that “right now our main goal is to make sure all the kids go out, there are still about thirty kids there.” Rudik explained that the most complicated phase concerns “Ukrainian soldiers wounded because Russia does not let them out”.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Meanwhile, Zelensky has appealed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help evacuate those still trapped in the steelworks. “The lives of the people who remain there are in danger – said Zelensky – Everyone is important to us. We ask for your help to save them”.

For the UN, they are about 250 civilians still inside the steelworks of Mariupol. In recent days, after many failed attempts due to mutual mistrust between Moscow and Kiev and thanks to the UN’s basic mediation, 100 civilians have been evacuated from the facility, while another hundred from some nearby villages. The civilians were handed over to the Red Cross and UN personnel, who guaranteed that they were not deported to Russia and that they could choose the destination areas, whether they were in the territory under Russian occupation or under Ukrainian control.

“United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ visit to Moscow a week ago was helpful,” stressed sources familiar with the matter, speaking with Adnkronos. The hope is now that the evacuations can continue in the coming days and that the UN can also play a role in facilitating the negotiations between Moscow and Kiev on a ceasefire.

About two thousand Russian soldiers, equivalent to two battalion tactical groups (Btg), remain in Mariupol. This was reported by sources in the US defense, according to which ten Btg engaged in the siege of the port on the Sea of ​​Azov have moved north for a break “or to create better defensive positions or to reorganize and reposition themselves” just south of the town of Velyka Novosilka. According to the same sources, the remaining forces found in or around Mariupol may also include Chechen fighters. “They are making no progress in the South,” they said.

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