Azovstal complex again. Evacuation expected within hours

The Azovstal industrial complex, the last enclave in where the Ukrainian organized resistance is entrenched in Mariupol, much of which has been destroyed in following the Russian bombing, it is still the link behind the developments on the ground in that region.

After Moscow announced yesterday that the condition for the evacuation of civilians is to lay down their weapons, Ukraine is expected to begin evacuating those trapped inside the factory in the next few hours, the president’s office announced. Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky.

This announcement came as the Russian side doubted the presence of civilians inside the factory, believing that all those holed up inside are from Ukrainian forces and could come out in the form of civilians to secure a safe escape after the control of the factory. 95% of the city of Mariupol, according to the Russian version.

Putin is clear: weapons in change of evacuation

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been very clear that while civilians can leave the besieged Azovstal plant in Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine, fighters must lay down their weapons.

“Which could be the subject of negotiations in this case? “Peskov added, as quoted on Thursday by the TASS news agency.

Ukrainian fears

In addition, the governor of the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, Pavlo Kirilenko, said on Thursday that Russia is preventing the evacuation of injured Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal plant because he wants to arrest them.

Kirilenko, the governor of the eastern Donetsk region, also said that Russia is also hindering efforts to organize humanitarian corridors elsewhere in Donetsk, but that Russian forces have been pushed back to his region.

“They (want) to take the opportunity to arrest Mariupol’s defenders, one of the main (elements) of them . the Azov battalion,” he said. in a press conference.

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He also added: “Therefore, the Russian side does not accept any evacuation measures regarding the wounded (Ukrainian) troops.”

last pocket

Interestingly, the Azovstal industrial complex, much of which was destroyed by Russian bombing, is the last enclave in which the Ukrainian organized resistance has holed up in Mariupol.

Russia announced a ceasefire a few days ago to allow civilians to leave the part they wanted. He also confirmed that he will also allow the exit of soldiers, fighters and those he describes as mercenaries, provided they lay down their weapons and declare their surrender.

However, the Ukrainian authorities denied that there had been a ceasefire, while the two sides blamed each other and blamed each other for allegations.

It is noteworthy that the city of Mariupol on the Azov Sea, since the beginning of the Russian military operation on the territory of its western neighbor, has been a strategic target for Moscow, as its control will open land corridors for the movement of forces. between eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which Moscow annexed to its territory in 2014.

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