The kyiv government now fears for the lives of the soldiers and the wounded who, without medicine, remain trapped under the Russian siege in Azovstal
The drama of the siege of the Azovstal factory in Mariúpol ended this Saturday for the women, children and the elderly who had been sheltering in its galleries for weeks. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced on Telegram that “this part of the humanitarian operation has been completed” after the convoys were able to evacuate fifty people since Friday afternoon. The departure of the civilians had a human cost: three soldiers were killed by a missile attack on some of the vehicles. According to kyiv, Russian troops have systematically breached the two-day truce agreed on Thursday.
The uncertainty now moves to the fighters who are still resisting in the labyrinth of ships and tunnels of the metallurgical complex, which continues under a rain of bombs dropped from the air and tanks. During the evacuation of civilians, several members of the Azov Battalion went outside carrying white flags, fueling rumors of a possible surrender. This possibility was later ruled out by official Army sources, according to which the defenders are continuing a fierce battle with the Russian units. In fact, the Government requested the intervention of international diplomacy to save the lives of these soldiers and prevent the conquest of Azovstal from ending in bloodletting.
The resistance in the steel mill has become the symbol of the resistance of an entire country. With the city of Mariúpol almost completely conquered after a long siege that began at the end of February, practically at the beginning of the invasion, hundreds of soldiers and civilians took refuge inside the factory, in one of the cruelest humanitarian dramas of this war together with with the Bucha massacre. At least, from what is known about her so far.
Without food, water or electricity, earlier this month the UN, the Red Cross and the government began an arduous rescue operation for the last 500 civilians left in the facilities. After three phases and continuous interruptions of the humanitarian corridors due to Russian bombing, the transfer of the most vulnerable refugees ended this Saturday, although the tragedy continues. The Army now fears for the situation of dozens of wounded trapped in Azovstal without any type of medication, convinced that the Kremlin is taking advantage of this agony to pressure the soldiers to surrender.
Missiles over Odessa
In addition to persisting in the siege of the factory, the Russians continued this Saturday to make some progress in the south and east of Ukraine. Of course, without the slightest hint of the great offensive that kyiv and the West predicted to achieve conquests with which to celebrate Victory in Russia Day on Monday. While the rehearsal for the May 9 parade was being held in Moscow this Saturday and it was speculated that President Vladimir Putin would make some relevant announcement in relation to the war, his troops launched half a dozen missiles over the port of Odessa and intensified the attacks in the Donbas.
The Ukrainian high command acknowledged that the invaders added some targets in their systematic destruction of logistics centers – the artillery destroyed a warehouse of weapons supplied by Western countries – and blew up three bridges northeast of Kharkiv to prevent counterattacks. For their part, Ukrainian forces used drones to sink an amphibious landing craft near Snake Island, where they also disabled a Russian frigate on Friday.
Germany is reinforced for the pro-Russian acts for the Capitulation
Germany has reinforced security in anticipation of incidents during the pro-Russian demonstrations organized this Sunday and Monday for the anniversary of the Capitulation of the Third Reich. The Berlin government has counted fifty calls, some promoted by far-right groups and others by sympathizers of Russia. One of the most popular events is held near the Brandenburg Gate, where thousands of people usually pay tribute to the 80,000 Soviet soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin. The authorities have prohibited displaying Russian and Ukrainian flags in various acts to avoid provocations, which this Saturday led to a protest by the Ukrainian ambassador, Andrij Melnik, who described it as a “slap” to his country.
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