News Desk: Russian troops have broken through a blockade around the Azovstal steel plant, the last base in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
There has been a bloody battle between Ukrainian fighters and Moscow forces in a last-ditch attempt to seize full control of Mariupol.
Russia says remaining Ukrainian troops in besieged Azerbaijan must surrender “Ukraine should order the surrender of these troops,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia’s full control of Mariupol is hampered by a handful of Ukrainian fighters in a factory. Russia will be able to claim full possession of Mariupol only if it wins the war against them.
In that case, before the Russian victory day on May 9, President Putin will be able to declare a military victory in the Ukraine campaign. This will be a great victory for Russia.
The capture of Mariupol is important for Russia. Again, preventing the city from collapsing is also important for Ukraine’s resistance to war. That is why the Ajavastal factory has become a symbol for the image of both sides.
Lieutenant-Colonel Denis Prokopenko, a Ukrainian commander, said there had been “fierce fighting” at the base.
According to Ukrainian fighters, about 200 civilians are still trapped in the Russian force’s attack on the factory. And the rest of the Ukrainian fighters have not yet let the resistance break.
According to the BBC, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that Ukraine should order the surrender of the remaining troops at the Azvastal factory.
Meanwhile, Putin promised to start a three-day ceasefire on Thursday morning to evacuate civilians trapped in the factory. He also said that Russian troops were ready to provide a safe corridor, according to Moscow officials.
But the battalion commander of the Azavastal factory complained that Russian troops were obstructing efforts to evacuate civilians from the factory.