A video of the besieged city of Mariupol, Ukraine, shows thick columns of smoke rising from the area. Azovstal steel plant In the midst of loud explosions.
According to official accounts on both sides, Russian forces are launching fresh attacks on the destroyed complex.
The plant was hit by artillery, naval artillery and aircraft overnight. Two civilian women in a bunker were killed in a major airstrike, “Denis Schlega, a National Guard commander, told Ukrainian television from Azostal.
Azov Regiment posted pictures of the bodies of two women inside the complex.
“Since morning, the enemy has been using armored vehicles to attack the Azustal plant with vital forces. Our troops bravely repulsed all attacks,” she said.
The commander of the Azov Regiment, Soyatoslav Palmar, told CNN on Tuesday that Azovstal was “now under attack.”
She added that the field hospital was badly damaged and that “the doctors performing the operation are in a very difficult situation and do everything possible and impossible. Currently, there are about 500 injured at the plant,” she added.
About 200 civilians are still at the plant, including about 20 children, Shliga said.
Russia’s state media, RIA Novosti, reported on Tuesday that Ukrainian fighters had “taken advantage of the ceasefire in Azovistal and taken up firing positions.” The outlet quoted Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Vadim Istafiev as saying. RIA Novosti reports that Russian troops continue to attack the firing sites.
“They have left the bunker and taken up a defensive position on the plant’s territory. Currently, DPR troops and the Russian armed forces are beginning to destroy these positions with artillery and aviation,” Istafiev said.
On Sunday, about 100 civilians managed to leave the plant in an evacuation organized by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, but there has been no evacuation since.