Will the Russians occupy the Azovstal steelworks?

sOn Thursday, US forces continued trying to seize the Azovstal steel plants in Mariupol, where the last Ukrainian forces are in the city. This is what Oleksiy Aristovich, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said in the afternoon. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov presented the situation differently, since the plant was only surrounded. Peskov referred to a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 21 that said that “the president and the commander in chief gave orders to refrain from the storming, and he did not announce any other orders.” In one of his rare public statements about the war, Putin said at the time: “We must protect the lives and health of our soldiers and officers.”

Gerhard Janac

Political correspondent for Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based in Warsaw.

On Thursday evening, Ukrainian President Selinsky said in a video address that he was able to transport 150 people from the factory to safety on Wednesday. He hopes to sequel because there are still women and children. Those who are buried are swept up “with bare hands” because the clearing technique cannot be used at the moment. It was not initially clear whether the evacuation would succeed on Thursday.

Navy captain missing since May 1

Obtaining information about the situation around the plant has become very difficult. Serhii “Volina” Volensky, the Marine Corps commander at the plant, has not spoken on Facebook since May 1. Mayor Vadim Boychenko, who appears to be outside the area occupied by the Russian army, said contact with the defenders was temporarily cut off. He appealed to the international community to continue to rescue civilians from the factory, including 30 children.

“This is the second day since the enemy entered the Azovstal complex. Fierce and bloody fighting is taking place,” National Guard commander Denis Prokopenko said in a video message from the factory on Thursday. The situation is very difficult. But obey the order to continue the defense. Another commander of the units holed up at the plant called on Zelensky to “take care of wounded soldiers who die in agony for lack of proper treatment” and to ensure that the dead are buried with dignity. “The adversary is not bound by any moral norms, conventions, or laws.”

It is alleged that 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed

Fighting also continued between Russian and Ukrainian units outside Mariupol. On Thursday, the Moscow Defense Ministry reported that 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed overnight and 61 pieces of “weapons and military equipment” were destroyed, including three aircraft. Several positions and fortified facilities of the Ukrainian armed forces were hit. The Russian Air Force attacked 93 targets, which were said to be military targets only.

Ukrainian media reported the killing of a number of civilians and on Thursday showed pictures of the damaged Orthodox Lavra monastery in Svyatohersk in Donbass, where refugees are being housed and where many people have been injured after Russian air strikes. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military reported the killing of 200 Russian soldiers, the downing of two planes and the destruction of 15 tanks during the past day.

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