May 17, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Russian “powerful attack” on Azov‌stal factory

Russian "powerful attack" on Azov‌stal factory

Russian forces and pro-Russian forces on Tuesday launched a “powerful attack” on tanks and amphibious landings on Azovstel Steelworks, the last pocket of the Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, the commander of the regiment that defends it announced.

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“There is a powerful attack on the territory of Azovstal with the help of armored vehicles, tanks and boats and a large number of infantry elements trying to unload troops,” said Azov Regiment Deputy Commander Sviatoslav Palmar. , On the telegram message.

“We will do everything we can to repel it,” he added, calling for “immediate action to evacuate civilians” who are still with Ukrainian fighters at this massive metallurgical site in Mariupol, a strategic port in southern Donbass. It is already almost completely under Russian control. .

He also said that heavy shelling had taken place the night before the attack, killing two women and injuring “about 10 civilians”.

“Last night, the enemy navy and ground artillery shelled the Azovstall factory, dropping a lot of heavy bombs,” he added.

Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Vadim Astafiev announced earlier Tuesday that “the Russian military and units of the Donetsk People’s Republic have begun destroying firing positions of Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal using artillery and aircraft.

In a speech delivered by Russian agencies, Mr. Astafiev accused the Azov regiment of “using” the ceasefire – announcing the evacuation of civilians – to “get out of the basements of the steelworks” and to “build buildings” on the ground and in the factory.

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Hundreds of civilians were evacuated this weekend from the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol, thanks to a UN-backed operation. They arrived in Zaporizhia, 230 kilometers northwest of Mariupol on Tuesday, where they were welcomed by company representatives.

“I am delighted and relieved to confirm that 101 civilians have been successfully evacuated,” Osnat Lubrani, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, said in a statement on Tuesday.