Ukrainians are already fighting on the streets in and around the ironworks in Mariupol

From the outside, it is impossible to tell how long the defenders will pull, as the factory lies in a vast area and a maze stretches beneath it.

Alexander Motuzhnyik, a spokesman for Ukraine’s defense ministry, said on Friday that street fighting was taking place in the besieged port city of Mariupol, which Russian forces had failed to fully capture. a Reuters.

The official added that there are fierce fighting in the vicinity of the steel and ironworks as well as in the port area. The Azovstal plant, one of the largest metallurgical plants in Europe, has become an apocalyptic fortress of Ukrainian forces in the ring of outnumbered Russians. It is located in an industrial area on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov, practically the size of a small town: it covers 11 square kilometers, with numerous buildings, smelters and railway tracks. In peacetime, Azovstal can produce 4 million tons of steel, 3.5 million tons of hot metal and 1.2 million tons of rolled steel a year, and the company behind it, Metinvest, is run by billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, the richest man in Ukraine. The company has already announced that as long as Russian military units are present in Ukraine as an occupying force, it will not produce. Ukraine is one of the largest iron ore producing countries in the world.

A Kiev military analyst, Oleh Zhdanov, said

That’s why they started talking about deploying chemical weapons, as that’s the only way to smoke them out. Such news has been reported before, but no one has confirmed it. A pro-Russian spokesman said on Russian state television on Monday that their unit had occupied 80 per cent of the port, but resistance continued and Ukrainian forces were trying to retreat towards Azovstal. He called the factory itself a fortress. The name of the infamous Azov regiment of far-right nationalists, the destruction of which is one of the Kremlin’s war targets, is particularly attached to the plant.

An EU source said to Reuters, it is difficult to say how long the Ukrainians can last, as there are tunnel systems under the plant. The capture of Mariupol is very important to Vladimir Putin, because after a victory there (and forcing the Azov regiment to its knees), he could say that “Nazi deportation” was a success, an EU source explained.

A staff member of the city’s mayor said on Wednesday he would like to hold a Victory Day parade in the city on May 9 – at the same time as a parade in Moscow. This date is one of Russia’s most important national holidays to celebrate Nazi Germany’s victory over World War II, with a state-of-the-art military parade parade at a spectacular parade.

An analyst believes there is little chance that Ukrainian forces from outside will break the Russian siege ring. It is not known how much supply the defenders have and how long they can last. This can only be guessed at. They were surrounded on all sides, so they had to endure to the end. However, if they surrender, they will not be spared, he explained.

On behalf of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Alexander Motuzhnyik also said that in addition to Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers, the Russian Air Force deployed a TU-22M long-range military bomber against Mariupol for the first time on Thursday.

Source: Népszava by

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