Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday that the Russian Armed Forces have taken control of the port city of Mariupol, the most besieged in the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian troops from the city in the south of the country had been resisting the Russian siege and bombardment at the Azovstal metallurgical plant in the town’s port for days.
“The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the militias of the Donetsk People’s Republic have liberated Mariúpol, the remnants of the nationalist formations took refuge in the industrial zone of the Azovstal plant” has detailed the minister of Defense after a meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. On the 57th day of the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin announces one of its main objectives of its “special military operation”.
The port city of Mariúpol is a key strategic area due to its location on the shore of the Sea of Azov. Russian fighting and bombing have continued since the beginning of the conflict. The City Council reported on Wednesday that some 100,000 people were still trapped in a city reduced to rubble and ashes. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, claimed that the town “no longer exists” and that the situation was “disheartening”.