She indicated Russian Ministry of DefenseAccording to Russian agencies, “units of the Russian army It is a republic Donetsk Popularity, started to be destroyed by Artillery and aircraft (…) firing positions” of the Ukrainian fighters who left the factory.
Why are the people sheltering in the factory?
The huge industrial complex became a haven for both Ukrainian civilians and fighters, after Moscow laid siege to Mariupol and destroyed the city.
Earlier, the Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol said Vadim Boychenko More than 200 civilians are still holed up with fighters in a huge steel plant in the city of Azovstal.
He explained that about 100,000 civilians in total are still inside the city in southern Ukraine, which is occupied by Russian forces.
On Tuesday, the Russian army announced that it launched an attack on the Azovstal factory, the last enclave of the Ukrainian resistance, in the southern city of Mariupol, with separatists loyal to Moscow.
“A violent attack is underway on Azovstal, with the support of armored vehicles, tanks, and attempts to land troops with the help of boats and a large number of infantry,” Deputy Commander of the Azov Battalion, Svyatoslav Balamar, said in a video posted on Telegram.
A spokesman for the Russian armed forces confirmed that the Ukrainian Azov battalion, which secures the protection of the factory, “used” the declared ceasefire to evacuate civilians and leave the factory basements and “take firing positions in the region” and “in the factory buildings.”
International concern about “hell”
French President Emmanuel Macron called on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to “allow the evacuations to continue” from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, the Elysee announced after a phone conversation between the two leaders.
The French presidency stressed that this evacuation process must take place “in coordination with the humanitarian authorities, while giving the evacuees the choice of their destination in accordance with international humanitarian law.”
As for the head of the Red Cross in Ukraine, Pascal Hundt, said Tuesday that an unknown number of civilians are still trapped in the city of Mariupol and its surroundings after the committee evacuated more than 100 civilians from the Azovstal factory.
“We were hoping that many more people would be able to join the caravan and get out of Hell,” Hundt told reporters via the Zoom app. This is why we have different feelings“.
He also expressed concern about indications of a resumption of heavy fighting in and around the factory, but said the ICRC would continue to press for access to the remaining civilians.
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