Combat to prevent the evacuation of civilians fixed in steel factories

Russia promised a new calm by fighting to allow them to leave, but many civilians, many women and children, remained trapped in the underground bunker of the steelworks on Thursday. rice field.

Ukrainian fighters, who said they were trapped in the vast Azovstal ironworks, accused Russian troops of violating Moscow’s ceasefire pledge and broke the factory’s defenses on the third day.

“The fierce, bloody battle continues,” said Captain Subiatoslav Paramar, deputy commander of the Azov Battalion in Ukraine, in a video posted online.

“Once again, the Russians have not kept their promise of a ceasefire and have not given civilians trying to evacuate to the basement of the factory the opportunity to evacuate,” he said. Reuters could not independently identify his account or where he was speaking.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych also said the fighting at the steelworks was ongoing, but did not provide details.

Russian troops did not comment immediately.

Ukraine’s Azofustari’s stubborn defense highlighted Russia’s failure to occupy major cities in the war 10 weeks ago, which united Western forces by arming Kyiv and punishing Moscow with sanctions.

Major historical changes that infuriate Moscow, Sweden and Finland may soon decide to join NATO.

Russian troops have promised to suspend operations in Azoftari to allow civilians to leave during the daytime and the next two days on Thursday after Ukrainian fighters blocked evacuation on Wednesday. The Kremlin said a humanitarian corridor from the factory was in place.

However, none of the more than 300 civilians evacuated from Mariupol and other parts of southern Ukraine on Wednesday were made of Azofustari, the UN Humanitarian Authority said.

Photos released by Russian-backed fighters appeared to show smoke and flames surrounding the Soviet-era Azofustari complex. Ukrainian officials believe that about 200 civilians remain trapped with fighters in the vast network of underground bunkers there.

In an early morning speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine was ready to ensure a ceasefire.

“It takes time to lift people from the basement and from the shelter in the basement. Currently, heavy equipment cannot be used to clean up rubble. It must all be done manually,” Zelensky said. rice field.

Ukrainian military staff said the attack on the plant included air support.

The Ukrainian commander-in-chief said multiple launch rocket systems were needed to prevent the resumption of cruise missile attacks across Russia. Russia recently attacked railroads, weapons dumps and fuel depots.

The US Congress is discussing a $ 33 billion worth of aid packages for Ukraine, primarily for weapons. Ukraine could launch a counterattack in mid-June if supply increased, Zelensky’s adviser said.

Mariupol, a port city in southeastern Ukraine facing the Sea of ​​Azov, is now under Russian control, with the exception of the steelworks, after a week of siege. This was an important goal of efforts to separate Ukraine from coastal grain and metal export routes and to link the eastern territories of Russia-controlled countries seized by Moscow in 2014 to the Crimean crisis.

“God forbids more shells from hitting near civilian bunker,” said Tetiana, a refugee of dozens of Azovstal iron mills arriving in a Ukrainian-controlled town this week. Torosac described her two-and-a-half-hour walk to cross a short distance, stretching the ground of a plant littered with debris.

NATO enlargement?

Sweden and Finland, which share a 1,300 km (819 mile) border with Russia, were away from NATO during the Cold War, but Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has led them to reconsider their need for security. ..

Russian President Vladimir Putin has partially embarked on a war to counter the expansion of the NATO alliance.

Drastic sanctions from Washington and its European allies hampered Russia’s $ 1.8 trillion economy, and billions of dollars worth of military aid helped Ukraine frustrate the aggression.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the United States provided details on the location of Russia’s mobile military headquarters, allowing Ukrainian troops to attack these targets and kill Russian generals.

Russia, on the other hand, said that such information sharing would not hinder its goal.

Ukrainian officials have killed about 12 Russian generals on the battlefield, the newspaper said. The Pentagon and the White House did not respond to requests for comment on Reuters’ report.

This week, the EU delegation is working to reach an agreement to phase out Russia’s crude oil and refined imports within six months. Consensus by all 27 EU governments is required.

The Kremlin said Russia is considering responding to the plan.


Ukraine and Russia said the fighting intensified in the south and east this day.

Ukrainian officials have reported bombardment of a town near the front line that divides the territory held in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions from the land held by Russian-backed separatists.

The Ukrainian Air Force said it had shot down four aircraft, including three Russian cruise missiles and two Sukhoi fighters, but said Russia had killed 600 Ukrainian soldiers overnight. Reuters could not report independently.

Russia calls the action to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists a “special military operation”. Ukraine and the West have stated that the fascist claims are groundless and that war is an unprovoked aggression.

Since the invasion began, more than 5 million Ukrainians have fled abroad. Combat to prevent the evacuation of civilians fixed in steel factories

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