- Putin orders his men not to storm 'liberated' Mariupol steelworks.
- Asserted to provide medical assistance to injured Ukrainian forces in Azovstal.
- The orders were delivered to Sergei Shoigu his defence minister through televised meeting.
Moscow: Reports of Putin’s victory are making rounds based on the information provided by the local sources. Sources claim Russian Pres Vladimir Putin declared the ‘successful liberation’ of Mariupol. He has ordered a siege instead of an assault on the steel plant in the Ukrainian city, sources added.
Instead of launching a final assault on the Azovstal steel plant in the coastal city, he said he wanted his forces to continue to securely blockade the complex instead. Putin gave the order to Sergei Shoigu, his defence minister. He further called on the remaining Ukrainian fighters in Azovstal who had not yet surrendered, saying Russia would treat them with respect and would provide medical assistance to those injured.
‘I consider the proposed storming of the industrial zone unnecessary,’ Putin told Shoigu in a televised meeting at the Kremlin. ‘I order you to cancel it.’
Local sources claim four buses ferried refugees from the besieged and destroyed port city where Ukraine forces battle to hold grounds. Deputy PM on social media said- Four evacuation buses managed to leave the city yesterday through the humanitarian corridor. She added that the evacuations would continue Thursday.
Almost two months into the battle, Mariupol has now reached its tipping point where devastating fighting killed and trapped civilians. Control of Mariupol and the separatist-controlled Donbas in the east of the country would allow Moscow to complete a southern corridor to the Crimea peninsula that it annexed in 2014.