It is 2 p.m. in Kyiv. This is what you should know

Smoke rises above the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 20.

2022-05-21 18:09:10

Russia on Friday claimed its troops have “fully liberated” the Azovstal metal plant in Mariupol — the ultimate holdout of Ukrainian resistance within the in any other case Russian-occupied southern metropolis.

CNN can’t independently confirm that each one Ukrainian troops have left the metal plant.

Ukraine is but to substantiate Russia’s claims, which, if true, would mark a symbolic navy victory for Moscow.

This is what you should know:

The siege of Mariupol: The strategically necessary port metropolis was one of many first to return below Russian assault after Moscow’s invasion started on Feb. 24. By early March, it had been surrounded by Russian forces, leaving residents dealing with dire shortages of meals and water — and fixed bombardment that hit a maternity hospital and a theater the place civilians had been sheltering.

The plant: By mid-April, a lot of the final Ukrainian defenders had been preventing to carry Russian forces again from the Azovstal metal plant — which had additionally develop into a shelter for as many as 1,000 civilians, together with some critically injured who had been stranded with out medical care.

In late April, Russia claimed it had achieved the “liberation” of Mariupol — which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied, saying troopers had been nonetheless resisting within the metropolis.

Evacuation makes an attempt: Evacuations of civilians from Azovstal started on Might 1. On Might 16, Ukraine’s navy stated its forces had accomplished their “fight mission” on the metal plant, with tons of of troopers evacuated from the power.

A whole lot of Ukrainian troopers evacuated from the plant had been taken to a pre-trial detention middle, whereas the severely injured had been receiving medical therapy, in accordance with the Russian Protection Ministry.

Ukraine stated it expects to hold out an alternate of Russian prisoners of warfare for the severely injured troopers.

The scenario on the bottom: If true, Russia’s declare on Friday would recommend the complete metropolis of Mariupol has fallen to Russian management after practically three months of brutal preventing.

A spokesperson from the Russian Protection Ministry claimed the “final group of 531 militants surrendered” within the plant. Earlier, the Ukrainian commander of the Azov regiment had issued an order for troopers to protect their “life and well being … and cease defending town.”

Movies posted on-line seem to indicate the remaining Azov fighters strolling out of the metal plant. CNN can’t independently confirm the variety of fighters left within the plant.

Russian features: If confirmed, the autumn of the Azovstal metal plant means Russian forces are in full management of Mariupol, paving the best way for them to ascertain a land hall between Russia and the annexed territory of Crimea.

The symbolic victory would additionally safe a key port on the Sea of Azov for Russia and launch Russian troops to struggle on the entrance traces of the warfare within the Donbas area.

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