February 3, 2023

Russians blocking part of Mariupol ahead of “another attempt to storm Azovstal” steel plant, says Ukrainian official

2 min read

Azovstal Iron and Steel work behind buildings destroyed during the Russian attack on the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on April 28.
Izostal Iron and Steel work behind buildings destroyed during the Russian attack on the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on April 28. (Alexander Ermochenko / Reuters)

A Ukrainian official says Russian forces have cordoned off an area of ​​Mariupol before another possible attack on the Azostal steel plant.

Petro Androshchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said: “For now, the occupiers have re-closed the Left Bank District square from Wesleka Park. May be.”

Veselka Park is located north of Azovstal.

Andershenko also spoke of Russia’s efforts to take over more government jobs in Mariupol.

He said Russia’s allies in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic were trying to “nationalize” Ukrainian property, such as a port.

On Thursday, DPR chief Denis Peshilin said the port was being cleared and reconstruction work had begun, and “the port will be fully operational. We plan to send the first shipment in May.” Have. “

Androshchenko also said that “despite public objections” the Russians are starting a census of properties in parts of Mariupol.

Apartment buildings that were severely damaged during the April 28 Russian attack on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
Apartment buildings were severely damaged during the April 28 Russian invasion of Mariupol, Ukraine. (Alexander Ermochenko / Reuters)

He said the census would look into the condition of tall buildings in the southern port city as well as the surviving apartments and their owners.

“Yesterday in Mariupol, occupiers issued the first birth certificate of the last month. For the first time in Mariupol, a Russian terrorist satellite has officially stolen the citizenship of our Ukrainian child,” Androshchenko added.

Androshchenko’s comments came hours after the Ukrainian president’s office announced that renewed efforts would be made to evacuate civilians from the besieged Azovastel steel plant in Mariupol.

Some background: In recent days, Russian forces have stepped up attacks on the vast Azovstal industrial complex as part of an effort to seize Mariupol.

Yuri Rysenkov, CEO of Metinvest Holding, which owns the plant, called the scene a “human catastrophe.”

“The city has been under siege for almost two months. And the Russians, they do not allow us to bring food or water into the city,” Raisenkov said. Told CNN.

Built in 1933 under Soviet rule, the plant was partially demolished during the Nazi occupation in the 1940s before being rebuilt.

Now it’s over again – according to Ukrainian officials, his body is sheltered in a maze of underground chambers for Ukrainian soldiers and about 1,000 civilians.

Azistal has since become a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s unbridled military invasion of Ukraine.

CNN’s Lauren Syed-Moore House, Isa Source, Madilina Araujo and Alexandra Ochman contributed to this post.

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