The steel plant in Mariupol is the last site in the city still under Ukrainian control. New attacks will be reported on Wednesday.
Newspaper Pravda On Wednesday, it announced that the Russian ground forces had made a new advance towards Azovstal, and that they had entered the steelworks area. This was later confirmed by the Ukrainian authorities.
“It’s tough bloody battles going on right now,” said the leader of the Ukrainian defenders in the city, according to Reuters.
The mayor of Mariupolsa said earlier Wednesday that it was not possible to contact Ukrainian forces at the steel plant, and that there were still about 30 civilian children waiting to be evacuated.
But Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba claims that the Ukrainians are still sticking to their land against the Russian forces, according to CNN.
As Ilya Ponomarenko, a journalist for the Kyiv Independent, wrote that the attacks were repelled:
No later than Tuesday Several Ukrainian media reported that Russian forces were about to storm the steel plant, Which, since mid-April, was the last fortified position of the Ukrainians in the city.
The Russian authorities have so far denied allegations of ground attacks. On the other hand, the state news agency (RIA) reported that a number of air strikes had been carried out against the steel plant. Reuters.
Russia also claims it will open humanitarian corridors from the steel plant on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, according to Interfax. This was not confirmed by Ukraine.
For more than two months up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 1,000 civilians took refuge In the dark network of underground tunnels that pass under the Azovstal. Here, they’re immune to over 60 days, though Lack of daylight, food and water.
However, it is not clear how many people were killed or wounded during the Russian siege A Ukrainian officer had earlier said that 600 soldiers were wounded.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday night that Reportedly 156 civilians have recovered safely after being evacuated from steel mills on Tuesday, With the assistance of several parties, including the United Nations and the International Red Cross.
Azovstal is one of the largest steel mills in Europe and extends over an amazing area of 11 million square metres.
Steel plants began operations in 1933 during the Soviet era, but were closed during the German occupation of Mariupol. In 1943, the plant was rebuilt after the Soviets regained control.
The tunnels, which Ukrainians took refuge in during the Cold War, were built, and are to be designed to withstand a nuclear war.
according to The New York Times Azovstal produced more than four million tons of steel annually – until Russia invaded the country.
“Organizer. Social media geek. General communicator. Bacon scholar. Proud pop culture trailblazer.”