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Russian Forces Capture Mariupol, Apart From Azovstal Plant
By Staff, Agencies
Russian forces have fully captured the key Black Sea port-city of Mariupol, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. However, more than 2,000 Ukrainian “militants” still remain entrenched at the Azovstal steel plant in the city, the minister added.
When Mariupol was encircled in early March, some 8,100 Ukrainian soldiers, foreign mercenaries, and nationalist militants – including members of the notorious Azov Battalion – remained inside, according to the minister’s estimates.
More than 1,400 militants have laid down their arms, Shoigu said, adding that over 142,000 civilians have also been evacuated from the city that has been under siege for weeks.
The Russian forces and militias from the Donbass republics will need between three and four days to seize the Azovstal plant, Shoigu believes. Russia has twice sought to establish a humanitarian corridor for those willing to leave the plant in recent days, but both attempts failed.
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