Shoigu to Azovstal fighters: lay down their weapons and free civilians

After a tight siege that lasted weeks, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed on Wednesday that the Russian military is imposing full control of the city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine.

Shoigu explained that normal life is resuming its course in the areas from which Ukrainian forces left in Lugansk and Donetsk, including Mariupol.

“I put down the gun”

He also added that his country’s forces have imposed a tight cordon on the militants in the industrial zone of the Azovstal factory, noting that “ignoring the repeated proposals to free civilians and lay down their weapons”, suggesting that the “Ukrainian nationalists” are laying down their their weapons and free civilians.

He said that the Russian armed forces are continuing their special military operation and, together with the separatist forces of Luhansk and Donetsk, are expanding control over the territories of the two “republics”.

He added that the Russian military will continue to implement all military plans assigned to it by President Vladimir Putin.

Born warning

In parallel, Shoigu warned that any NATO transport carrying weapons in I arrive in Ukraine would be treated as a military target.

The Russian defense minister stressed that the United States and its NATO allies continue to supply weapons to Ukrainian forces.

The Azovstal fighters are surrounded

In turn, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced the destruction of a number of American “howitzers” in Ukraine, noting that Ukrainian fighters in Azovstal are besieged.

He added that his forces bombed 40 Ukrainian military targets, including 4 ammunition depots, as well as shooting down 9 Ukrainian drones and 4 Smirch missiles.

It also confirmed the bombing of 6 railways used to supply the Ukrainian army with Western weapons.

The vast Azovstal industrial complex has transformed its bunkers and tunnels in a refuge for many Ukrainian civilians and fighters.

evacuate civilians

The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross had coordinated an evacuation from the city to remove women, children and the elderly from the steel mill, which began on April 29 and lasted for five days.

“Thanks to this operation, 101 women, men, children and the elderly were finally there in able to leave the bunkers under the Azovstal steel complex and see the sunlight after two months of siege, “said Osnat Lubrani, UN relief coordinator for Ukraine.

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Since the launch of the Russian military operation on the lands of its western neighbor on February 24, Mariupol, overlooking the Sea of ​​Azov, has been a strategic target for Moscow, as its control will open a land corridor for the movement of Russian forces between the Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

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