Russia claims to have taken full control of Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol

Image of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. Credit: DNR/Russia

Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks is totally under Russian control claims their Defence Ministry

Unverified reports by Russian authorities tonight, Friday, May 20, claim that the last remaining Ukrainian fighters defending the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol have surrendered. It is believed that these last remaining men would be from the feared Azov Regiment.

“The territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant has been completely liberated”, said a statement from the Russian Defence Ministry. It added: “The underground facilities of the enterprise, where the militants were hiding, came under the full control of the Russian armed forces”.

Ukrainian troops have fought and held out for four weeks inside this huge Mariupol facility. If the Russian claims prove to be true then it means the Black Sea port city will be totally under the control of Vladimir Putin’s military forces. 

Last Monday, May 16, the remaining soldiers were ordered to stand down by the Ukrainian authorities. It is claimed by Russia that 531 fighters had surrendered tonight. If confirmed, then this would bring the total number of troops to have recently surrendered from Azovstal to 2,439.

A video published online showed a line of unarmed military men giving their names to Russian troops as they approached them. The Russian soldiers are seen asking the alleged Ukrainian fighters to show them their tattoos, with a search being conducted on each man in turn.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Ukrainian television viewers how he had attempted to fly supplies in to this band of fighters. His air force had suffered significant losses in the process: “A very large number of our pilots died, sadly”, he announced.

He added, “They were absolutely heroic people who knew it was hard, that to fly in there was almost impossible, to fly to Azovstal with medicine, food, water, and to bring back bodies and the wounded”.

In a video posted yesterday, Thursday, May 19, Sviatoslav “Kalyna” Palamar, the deputy-commander of the men inside the steelworks, denied Russian media claims that he had left the plant, as reported by metro.co.uk.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he 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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