Mariupol: Entrenched ones cannot leave Steelworks

Status: 04/21/2022 3:46 p.m

In the city of Mariupol, which is apparently controlled by Russian troops, Ukrainian troops and civilians are still holed up in a steel works. Appeals to give them safe conduct have so far been unsuccessful.

After a siege of almost two months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the capture of the strategically important Ukrainian port of Mariupol – but at the same time admitted that the Azovstal steelworks with the city’s last Ukrainian defenders is still not under Russian control.

Putin ordered the plant to be besieged – so tightly that “a fly can no longer get out.” Storming the complex with numerous underground tunnels does not make sense, said Putin. “We have to think about the lives and health of our soldiers and officers,” said the head of state. He again called on the people in the steel mill to lay down their arms.

Mariupol is apparently under Russian control

Victoria Reith, WDR, daily news at 2:00 p.m., April 21, 2022

Still no evacuation options

According to Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko, civilians cannot leave the besieged steel mill. In the port city itself, around 200 people were waiting to get to safety, he said. No buses had arrived until the afternoon.

Shaded in white: advance of the Russian army. Shaded in green: Russian-backed separatist areas. Crimea: annexed by Russia.

Image: ISW/04/19/2022

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, around a thousand civilians and hundreds of injured people are staying with the soldiers in the steelworks. Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk called on leaders and the international community to focus their efforts on the work. She spoke of a pivotal moment for humanitarian efforts.

On Wednesday, 80 people were taken out of Mariupol. A small convoy of civilians left the city and is now on its way to Zaporizhia, which is under Ukrainian control. More than 100,000 people are still holding out in Mariupol, says Boychenko.

National and international appeals for escape corridor

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry urged the establishment of an escape corridor for civilians and injured militants from the Mariupol Steel Plant. “They have almost no food, no water and no essential medicines,” the ministry said in online networks. Ukrainian authorities fear more than 20,000 people may have died in Mariupol.

Meanwhile, a commander of the ultra-nationalist Ukrainian Azov Battalion, Svyatoslav Palamar, announced that his unit would not surrender with their weapons. Instead, he asked for “security guarantees” from the “civilized world”.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock accused the Russian troops of “bleeding out, starving” of Mariupol. The situation in the city is “not only highly dramatic, it is almost unbearable,” she said during a visit to Estonia and announced that the EU would continue to increase the pressure on Russia.

In the rest of the Donbass and in the south of the country, Russian forces continued their artillery shelling “along the entire front line” on Thursday, according to Ukrainian sources. Heavy fighting was reported from the Izyum region and in the cities of Popasna and Rubishne in the Luhansk region, among others.

conflicting parties as a source

Information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body in the current situation.

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