The Russian Federation has claimed victory in the city of Mariupol after nearly two months of intense battle.
In a televised meeting with his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the port city has been “liberated” as he ordered for the remaining Ukrainian resistance and civilians to be surrounded and sealed off so that “even a fly cannot escape.”
It is believed that more than 2,000 Ukrainians, including hundreds of civilians, are now trapped in the city’s Azovstal steelworks.
While the plant and its vast underground network remain unconquered according to accounts from both sides, Putin has now ordered the place to be shut off by the military.
“I consider the proposed storming of the industrial zone unnecessary. I order you to cancel it,” he told Shoigu.
“There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities. Block off this industrial area so that a fly can not pass through.”
During the televised meeting in Moscow, the Russian strongman went on to encourage the remaining forces at the steel plant to surrender.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s foreign ministry called for an “urgent humanitarian corridor” that would allow the remaining Ukrainians to escape Mariupol.
“Hundreds of civilians, children, injured Ukrainian defenders are trapped in plant’s shelters. They have almost no food, water, essential medicine,” the ministry said.
“An urgent humanitarian corridor is needed from the Azovstal plant with guarantees people will be safe.”
As experts believe, Russia’s alleged victory in Mariupol will likely be used by Putin to claim his invasion of Ukraine was successful on upcoming Russia’s Victory Day on May 9.
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