brytfmonline

Complete News World

Battle of Mariupol - Inside Azovstal:

Battle of Mariupol – Inside Azovstal:

– When we entered the city, the atmosphere was very special, Viktor Matcha, 38, told Dagbladet on Wednesday.

He visited the Azovstal steel mills in Mariupol twice to take photos for his documentary project: “The Beauty of Steel” or “The Beauty of Steel” in Norwegian.

The first time was in 2012 when the area seemed peaceful and unconcerned.

The second time in 2016, the sound of shots and fights kept Matcha up at night.

The heart of the industry

– It was very far away, but even from a distance I could hear it clearly. The photographer said it was very uncomfortable.

Although Matcha works in real estate and holds a master’s degree in theology, science and religion, the 38-year-old has a penchant for crucifixion.

While other people choose to collect stamps and butterflies, Matcha takes pictures of steel mills all over the world, but only as a hobby.

“Maripol is the heart of Ukrainian industry, and one of the most important regions of the Soviet steel industry,” says Matcha, adding:

– This is not the end of Azovstal, I’m sure.

Even after visiting more than 300 steel plants, the 38-year-old remembers well the recent visit to Mariupol, which presented more challenges than he initially thought.

Hiding: The remaining soldiers of Mariupol are said to have holed up in the steelworks of Azovstal on the outskirts of the city.  Photo: Victor Matcha / 2016.

Hiding: The remaining soldiers of Mariupol are said to have holed up in the steelworks of Azovstal on the outskirts of the city. Photo: Victor Matcha / 2016.
Show more

Azov Battalion met

Access to the facility itself was not a big problem in 2012, but after the invasion in 2014, when separatist forces captured large parts of the Donbass region, the situation changed radically – also for Masha.

It’s hard to focus on the job when you hear shots 100 meters from the main gate, says the photographer.

Believed: A Russian tank was photographed near steel mills on April 12th.  The Russians now control large parts of the port city.  Photo: Reuters/Alexander Ermoshenko

Believed: A Russian tank was photographed near steel mills on April 12th. The Russians now control large parts of the port city. Photo: Reuters/Alexander Ermoshenko
Show more

Matcha had to pass through three military checkpoints for entry, one of which was guarded by the Ukrainian army and the other two guarded by the Ukrainian army. Azov Battalion.

– They check everything. Matcha says baggage and passport then I had to get a written invitation from the steel mill itself.

He spent about half a day in the large facility and described a very tense atmosphere.

– The workers were nervous, because they did not know whether a bomb would fly in our direction or not, says a little shaky.

Ukraine war: The Azovstal steel plants in Mariupol will be the hiding place for the last Ukrainian troops in the occupied city of Mariupol. Video: Reuters
Show more

– hostile environment

In total, the entire steel plant covers more than 11 square kilometers on the outskirts of the city. The devastation of the war in 2014, according to Matcha, was quite evident in Mariupol two years after the invasion.

– You know, it’s a very hostile environment there, but I really like it, he laughs sweetly, and adds:

– It’s totally overwhelming.

He described dozens of different buildings and factories within the giant plaza.

The smell inside is very pure, and there are thousands of tiny dust particles in the air. He continues: It’s so disgusting when you breathe.

If thousands of people hid within the area, the photographer still did not believe that they would be safe if there was a bomb.

Ultimately: Russian forces repeatedly promised that the last remaining Azovstals would have free passage through humanitarian corridors, if Ukrainian forces laid down their arms.  Photo: Victor Matcha / 2016.

Ultimately: Russian forces repeatedly promised that the last remaining Azovstals would have free passage through humanitarian corridors, if Ukrainian forces laid down their arms. Photo: Victor Matcha / 2016.
Show more

refute the rumors

How many hiding places do you think?

– This steelwork is very advanced. In 2016, there were 25,000 people working there. Therefore, you can imagine the size of the plant from the inside, says Matcha.

Several media outlets recently reported that the newest Ukrainian troops are being housed at the facility, along with about 1,000 civilians. A number not confirmed by independent media.

However, Matcha refutes all the rumors about the many tunnels and secret underground chambers.

– I’m sorry to say that, but it’s not true. There are no underground tunnels, just ordinary shelters. This is. There is no secret city under the city, he says and laughs sweetly.

At least not as matcha saw.

Talk about the days

– Did you feel safe?

– I traveled to Ukraine during a war conflict, so how can anyone feel safe in such a situation?

After some thought, he still replied that he felt fine during the visit, unlike his Russian colleague who felt insecure.

– Unfortunately, it was only a short visit, so I wasn’t able to document every nook and cranny, which I really wanted. Matcha said the visit was not well planned and thus I didn’t get the time.

Now: This is what it's like in a steel power plant now.  Smoke rose over the area on Wednesday.  Photo: Reuters/Alexander Ermoshenko

Now: This is what it’s like in a steel power plant now. Smoke rose over the area on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters/Alexander Ermoshenko
Show more

It is believed that many of the large buildings, which he remembers from inside the facility, had already been destroyed in the ongoing war. Therefore, he is skeptical about how long the Ukrainian forces can withstand.

– I think it is only a matter of days now, before they have to give up, says Matcha, who adds that unfortunately he does not think it will be possible to make a third visit in the future – for obvious reasons.

See also  Unsuccessful trip to the Caribbean by William and Kate - NRK Norway - An overview of news from different parts of the country