Update: Ukrainian official reacts after Putin orders his troops NOT to storm the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol

Putin reportedly orders his troops NOT to storm the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged city of Mariupol. Image: Twitter

Update: Ukrainian official reacts after Putin orders his troops NOT to storm the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol.

The Russian leader already called the operation in the Ukrainian city a ‘success’.

UPDATE 8.54 am (April 22) – A UKRAINIAN official has reacted to reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops NOT to storm the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Around 100,000 civilians are believed to still be trapped in Ukraine’s war-torn Mariupol and its Mayor, Vadym Boichenko, told Reuters that their lives are now in the hand of Vladimir Putin.

“It’s important to understand that the lives that are still there, they are in the hands of just one person – Vladimir Putin. And all the deaths that will happen after now will be on his hands too,” Boichenko said in an interview.

According to Putin and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian troops had “liberated” Mariupol. However, this claim has been refuted by Boichenko.

“There were no plans to liberate the city. It was a plan of destruction,” Boichenko said. He estimated that 90 per cent of the southeastern port city had been damaged or destroyed since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

“Today at all levels, we only talk about one thing – that we need a ceasefire, we need a full evacuation of the 100,000 Mariupol residents who are prisoners of Russian forces and we need to free all the people who are at Azovstal.”

On April 21, Russia’s defence minister said his troops had asked the remaining Ukrainian soldiers “to lay down their arms” while Putin had apparently “guaranteed” that those who do will receive “decent treatment in accordance with international legal acts.”

Boichenko reacted by telling Reuters: “The soldiers are not willing to surrender, they are willing to leave only with weapons in their hands and continue defending our homeland, our Ukraine.”

Putin and Shoigu are apparently blocking the Azovstal steel plant “so that not even a fly comes through,” according to the Russian president.

UK Ministry of Defence said Vladimir Putin’s “decision to blockade the Azovstal steel plant likely indicates a desire to contain Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol and free up Russian forces to be deployed elsewhere in eastern Ukraine.”


ORIGINAL 10.58 am (April 21) – RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin reportedly orders his troops NOT to storm the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the besieged city of Mariupol, according to his defence minister on Thursday, April 21.

Putin, who declared the military operation a ‘success’ in the Ukrainian city, instead wants to block the Azovstal steel plant – where Ukrainian forces are taking shelter – “so that not even a fly comes through.”

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said: “The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic have liberated Mariupol. The remnants of the nationalist formations took refuge in the industrial zone of the Azovstal plant.”

With the Ukrainian soldiers holed up in the steel plant, Shoigu said the Russian military would “need about three to four days” to take complete control over Mariupol, however, Putin has decided against further attacks.

Russian media reports suggest that their president considered storming the plant as “inappropriate and ordered it to be cancelled”.

“This is the case when we must think about saving the life and health of our soldiers and officers. There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities,” the president said.

Shoigu said his troops have asked the remaining Ukrainian soldiers “to lay down their arms” and reportedly Putin has “guaranteed” that those who do will receive “decent treatment in accordance with international legal acts.”


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Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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