May 22, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Moscow says it has blocked the movement of Azov battalion leaders

Moscow says it has blocked the movement of Azov battalion leaders

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that Russian forces had opened fire on a Ukrainian ship trying to evacuate Azov battalion commanders from the besieged city of Mariupol.

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“The Kiev regime is not abandoning attempts to expel nationalist Azov regiment leaders and foreign mercenaries from Mariupol,” the ministry said in a statement.

On Friday evening, Russian forces opened fire when a Ukrainian cargo ship suddenly changed direction and tried to break the blockade of the Mariupol port.

Following these shots, the Maltese flag-flying Apache caught fire and announced that it would comply with Russian demands.

According to Moscow, there were no casualties among the crew. Apache and its crew were taken to the Russian port of Leicesk off the coast of the Azov Sea.

Members of the Azov Battalion fought against Russian forces in the Russian city of Mariupol, a town in southeastern Ukraine, between the annexed Crimea and the separatist areas in the east of the country.

The Azov Special Operations Detachment, formerly known as the “Azov Battalion”, has been a key part of Russia’s propaganda campaign alleging that Ukrainian officials have links to neo-Nazis.

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