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Ukraine: Putin announces that Mariupol is under Russian control

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Russian President Vladimir Putin ruled on Thursday that his forces had “successfully” taken control of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, ordering to besiege the last Ukrainian fighters rather than storming the Azovstal industrial site where they are entrenched .

Russia’s president ruled on Thursday that his forces had “successfully” taken control of the southeast Ukrainian city of Mariupol, ordering the remaining Ukrainian fighters to be besieged rather than storming the site industrial Azovstal where they are entrenched. “The end of the work of liberating Mariupol is a success,” Vladimir Putin told his Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, during a meeting broadcast on television.

The seat of the last fighters in the Azovstal factory

The Russian president also told him that he wanted to besiege the last Ukrainian fighters entrenched on the metallurgical site of Azovstal, because an assault would cost too many lives, the area being notably composed of a vast network of underground galleries. “I consider the proposed assault on the industrial zone inappropriate. I order it to be called off,” Vladimir Putin said. “We must think (…) of the life and health of our soldiers and our officers, we must not enter these catacombs, and crawl underground”, he continued. “Block off this whole area so that not a fly will pass.”

This vast industrial site still houses 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers, according to the Russian Minister of Defense. Vladimir Putin has also promised life to those who surrender. “Propose once again to all those who have not laid down their arms to do so, the Russian side guarantees their lives and to be treated with dignity,” he said.

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