In the evening on the Twitter and Telegram profile of the Azov Battalion a video was broadcast showing the area of the steel plant from above. Azovstal from Mariupol. Plumes of smoke, fire, bombardment: there is all the fury of the Russians who are trying at all costs to find the two thousand Ukrainian soldiers still fighting back. Ignore the “ceasefire”. A few hours earlier, Petro Andryushenko, the mayor’s advisor, used this emphatic and highly realistic formula taken by CNN: “If there is hell in the world, it is in Azovstal. The last 11 square kilometers of freedom in Mariupol have turned into hell.” There are also women and children prisoners in the basement, but yesterday put it inTalking on the phone with the Israeli Prime Minister Bennettmade up a ruthless blackmail: “I Russia It is ready to ensure the safe exit of civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, but the military at the plant must surrender ».
According to Zelensky, 344 more were evacuated from Mariupol. Last night, the United Nations announced the start of the third phase of the operation to rescue civilians. The Azov battalion doctor appealed to Turkish President Erdogan to act as a mediator for the evacuation of the army as well: “The wounded are dying from lack of medicine, and they are dying in my arms.” Of course, the Ukrainians also claim a series of results in other regions of the country: they claim that they regained control of some villages near Kherson and launched counter-attacks in the Kharkiv and Izyum regions (to the east). Kyiv announced the order: by June, we will be able to begin a large-scale counterattack “because the first weapons that can stop the enemy will arrive.” The New York Times revealed yesterday: that the Ukrainian army managed to kill several Russian generals thanks to information transmitted by US intelligence. The White House commented: “The New York Times article is irresponsible. The United States provides intelligence on the ground to help the Ukrainians defend their country, and we do not provide intelligence with the intent to kill Russian generals.”
One day the history books will tell of the Battle of the Steel Factory, an unprecedented story where two thousand Ukrainian soldiers were trapped for weeks in the basement of a steel factory where civilians are still trapped, at least 200-300, with food and water in short supply. Outside, there is a city now destroyed and taken over by the Russian army, which, however, is unable to occupy that last underground core. Exhausted Ukrainian soldiers – especially the soldiers of the Azov Battalion, a far-right formation, joined by some marines who did not want to surrender – are communicating abroad, with the whole outside world, thanks to social networks, and messages are relaunched on Telegram and Twitter. They document what their last hours may have been. “For the second day in a row, the Russian army stormed the factory. There are fierce and bloody battles – says the commander of the Azov regiment, Denis Prokopenko, 30, in the past in the ultras Dynamo Kyiv – I thank the whole world for the tremendous support of the Mariupol garrison. Our soldiers deserve it. Despite everything, we continue to carry out the order: keep the defense.”
Putin’s threats worry Moscow-based Rieti
These words go back to the night between Wednesday and Thursday. The Russians in the steel mills for the last offensive sent mainly soldiers of fierce Chechen units and soldiers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic. Last night another video message appeared, in which the protagonist of the deputy commander of Azov, Svyatoslav Balamar, appeared, who issued an appeal: “Get out the civilians. Release the wounded soldiers who are dying in agony.” Azov’s profile reads: “The attack on Azovstal continues. The army keeps the factory’s defenses under heavy fire. The enemy uses aircraft, artillery and infantry.” But why, three days ago, did the Russian army intensify its actions against the desperate in Mariupol? However, Putin said that there would be no ground offensive, and that it was not worth it. This war has made us accustomed to discovering a fundamental difference between what the Moscow authorities say and what they actually do. The explanation given by all observers for this acceleration is related to the usual date of May 9. On that day – when the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazism in 1945 is celebrated – it is necessary to present Putin with an outcome, such as complete control of Mariupol. Not surprisingly, rallies were canceled on May 9 in the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
In a city that unites Donbass with southern Ukraine and Crimea, giving continuity to the areas controlled by the Russians, the Mariupol metros are also a symbol with which tragedy continues. But Russia continues its attacks in other regions of Ukraine, starting with Odessa and Mykolaiv. The scenario has been tried and tested, and it is almost predictable: almost every evening throughout the country, anti-aircraft sirens go off. It happened yesterday, too. Ukrainian “Pravda” relaunched the news: “In the northwestern part of the Black Sea, there is a threat of an enemy landing, and the Russians carry out operations with reconnaissance aircraft and attacks.” Operational command in southern Ukraine asked residents not to approach the beaches. Cruise missiles are launched primarily from Russian ships in the Black Sea, but aerial bombardment is also aimed, as a daily strategy, at railways, electrical systems and fuel depots: the goal is to cripple the sending of war materials from the West. A fire destroyed an oil depot in Makevka, Donetsk region, Ukraine. Pro-Russian authorities in the region accused the Ukrainians. In Ivano-Frankivsk, in western Ukraine, the mayor made an appeal to the citizens: If you can, leave the city, because in the light of May 9 we expect violent Russian missile attacks.