Vladimir Putin claims ‘liberation’ in Mariupol and orders forces to block off the last Ukraine solders

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Moscow’s “liberation” of Mariupol as his Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told him that Moscow controlled the Ukrainian port city apart from the giant Azovstal steel plant.

Putin on Thursday ordered his forces to “block off” the last Ukrainian fighters at the Mariupol steelworks as he claimed victory in the city after almost two months since the invasion of Ukraine began. Ukraine has dismissed this claim of victory saying that there is still stiff resistance at the steelworks in Mariupol.

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The last Ukrainian fighters are holding out in underground passageways along with around 1000 civilians at the Azovstal complex. While the Russian Defence Minister claimed control of Mariupol, he acknowledged that there is still stiff resistance at the Azovstal steelworks. About 2 000 Ukrainian soldiers are in the plan where the last group of resistance is stationed. Putin told Shoigu not to storm the plant but rather “block it off so that a fly can’t get in.”

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed in the city of Mariupol which was attacked by Russian troops over a month ago cutting water, food and electricity supply. The ‘liberation’ claim is disputed by the Ukrainians and the United States of America. On Thursday, US President Joe Biden said, “There is no evidence, yet that Mariupol has completely fallen.” He also urged Putin to allow civilians to have a safe passage out of the besieged city.

Source: Eyewitness News, Financial Times, The Federal, image from Azovstal plant in Mariupol

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