No direct attacks on the steel mill Azovstal. Russian President Vladimir Putin declaring that the city Mariupol Now at hand Russian, but the facility in which at least two thousand men are barricaded only needs to be surrounded and, for the time being, not beaten. He must be so enclosed that “even a fly cannot pass,” so thunders the Tsar. This is because with the area around the “crystalline” steel plant, the Kremlin He can declare a quick victory over the rest of the city and free up weapons and weapons for use in the campaigns he wages elsewhere, in Donbass And in the cities of the southeast of the country.
“Zelensky orders the surrender of the steel mill.” General Bertolini: Only in this way can a massacre be avoided
Putin: ‘Mariopol is ours’
Yesterday morning Moscow had announced the capture of the city, and as with everything in this war, there were responses and denials. Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Aristovich said: “They cannot take Azvostal physically, and they clearly understood it. They suffered heavy losses in that area. Our resistance continues. The same reaction from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as well as from US President Joe Biden, who did not confirm the invasion of Mariupol by the Russians. “It’s just a show,” Biden said. “I am sure that the occupiers will not stop until the complete destruction of those inside Azovstal – the adviser to the mayor Petro Andryushenko wrote on Telegram -. Only external intervention and security guarantees on the part of our foreign partners will not save the situation ». Mariupol municipality Sergey Orlov – but it has not yet fallen.
True, the flags of the separatist Donetsk Republic appeared in the city a few days ago. And that many Moscow special forces are leaving the region to head towards the Donbass, where a more violent battle is expected.
It is for this reason that, yesterday, Putin decided to show on television an interview with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in which the general officially informed him of the occupation of the city. Hence the president’s correspondence to announce the obstruction of the operation against Azovstal, as well as not to allow any movement in that region. The Kremlin once again offered to surrender to those who were still immune to the plant. And they repeated: “If they leave, you will save their lives.” The others, according to Moscow’s plan, will be slowly suffocated, until supplies run out and they will have to lay down their arms.
The situation appears to be stable. It is now clear that finer scales are moving around the Azovstal. Special concerns that go beyond the importance of industrial structure. Many lives will be lost on both sides. And Putin doesn’t want to play the “war criminal” that Biden keeps cutting him off. “There is no need to climb into the catacombs and crawl underground,” he said in the Commander-in-Chief’s version, face to face with the Minister. In a conversation between the Tsar and Shoigu, the general reported that in the facility “there are still the remaining patriotic fighters and foreign mercenaries hiding.” He also noted that Kyiv had heavily fortified Mariupol, sending about 8,100 soldiers and fighters from nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries. Among them – according to the minister’s report to the president – more than 4,000 Ukrainian fighters were killed and 1,500 others surrendered to Russia. The number of Russian casualties was not mentioned.
The Russian propaganda message also indicated the humanitarian corridors that, according to Shoigu, were opening every day, with 142,700 people evacuated. Figures that clearly contrast with all the photos and videos that come from those areas. Of the 90 buses that had to leave town, very few left. They arrived in Zaporizhzhia, but for many this will not be a final departure. “We will go home – they declared – Mariupol will never become Russian.”
It will take another three to four days for Moscow to take over the steel plant as well. “In this case – as Putin himself said in the video broadcast on Russian television – we need to think about saving the lives and health of our soldiers and officers.” In fact, storming Azovstal could mean finding mines and traps set by those who had holed up inside for weeks. The plant and its network of underground tunnels serve as a haven and ultimate resistance for thousands of Ukrainian fighters, including many of the Azov Battalion, one of Ukraine’s most skilled and controversial military units. In addition, up to 1,000 civilians will hide in the subway network, if the report of the Mariupol City Council on Telegram is correct. “Below the city, there is practically another city,” explained Yan Gajin, advisor to the pro-Moscow separatist group in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Gagin admitted that the site was designed to withstand bombardment and siege and that it contained an integrated communications system that strongly supported the defenders, even if their numbers were much smaller. Meanwhile, the local Ukrainian authorities denounced a real massacre: “Up to 9 thousand people died in a mass grave in Manush,” a town 20 kilometers from Mariupol.
But at the diplomatic level, it is still negotiating an exit after Kyiv’s negotiators offered to go to the city. And the fighters of the Azov regiment and the Ukrainian marines, who had always refused to surrender, asked to be transferred to a third country, where Turkey was already a candidate to send a ship to break the deadlock. Also because the hourglass is flowing now and it’s not in their best interest. The CEO of the steel plant, Yuri Ryzhnikov, explained that the situation is “close to catastrophe. When the war began, he said, we stockpiled good supplies of food and water in air raid shelters and in factory facilities. Unfortunately, everything tends to run out.” In more than 50 days of Russian roads, Mariupol was devastated, with 90% of buildings damaged or destroyed. The civilian death toll – more than 20,000 according to local authorities – remains fragmented and uncertain. Also Because, as hostilities recede, new atrocities appear. “Our compatriots – again denounced the mayor – reported that Russian soldiers in Mangosh, near Mariupol, dug a 30-meter mass grave and trucked the bodies away.”