Despite announcing a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday morning, the Ukrainian military announced that fighting was continuing on the Azovstel steelworks in Mariupol (south-east) in an attempt to “destroy” the last defenders of the Russian base.
“The Russian occupiers are busy trying to block and destroy Ukrainian units in the Azovstal region,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement on Thursday morning.
According to him, Moscow troops have “resumed attacks with the support of aircraft to take control of the factory”.
The report comes as Moscow announced on Wednesday evening that its forces would cease firing for three consecutive days from 8am (local time) on Thursday, allowing the evacuation of another 200 civilians in Azovstal. Mariupol, Vadim Poychenko.
In a video released Wednesday evening, Denis Prokopenko, commander of the Azov Brigade, which is leading the defense of the site, pointed out that Russian forces had been able to enter the steel plant where the “violent and bloody fighting” was taking place.
“For two days, the enemy was able to enter the factory premises,” he said in the video released in the Telegram.
“I am proud of my soldiers who make inhumane efforts to counter enemy attacks. I thank the whole world for the tremendous support given to Mariupol Garrison. Our players deserve it, ”he added.
Azovstel Steelworks, a large steel complex that is crossed by underground networks, is the last resistance of Ukrainian fighters against the Russian army, which has been besieging this strategic port since early March. His surrender or capture would be a significant victory for Moscow.
Mayor Vadim Botchenko also called for the evacuation of the city on Thursday with the help of the United Nations and the Red Cross. “Like Mariou, we fight together to save every person and every resident,” he said.
Elsewhere in the country, fighting continued, especially in the east as Moscow continued its offensive. According to the governor of the Donetsk region, 25 civilians were injured in a strike that struck a residential area in Kramatorsk overnight.
The Russian military, for its part, said it was targeting a Ukrainian command post and two military depots at the city’s airport.