In the last stronghold of Mariupol are women, children and the elderly, according to local police

Many civilians, including women, children and the elderly, are hiding in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. This is according to the head of the local police patrol, Mykhailo Vershynin. On Monday, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister called on Russia to create a humanitarian corridor from Azovstal for civilians. According to available information, there are also the remaining Ukrainian defenders of the devastated city in the huge metallurgical complex, and the enterprise represents the last significant area of ​​Ukrainian resistance in the city.

According to former Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, civilians in Azovstal shelters are surviving in appalling conditions, without water, food or medicine, reports the Ukrainian server. According to him, these people are hiding from the shelling in the warehouses of the metallurgical plant.

Vershynin accused Russian troops of using the remaining civilians in Mariupol, who number around 100,000, according to Ukrainian media, among other things to pick up corpses or dig up mass graves. According to him, he is trying to erase the traces of his crimes. People work for food, according to an official police agency Ukrinform.

The official also claims that the invading Russian forces are forcing civilians to wear white ribbons – on the right leg and left hand – similar to Russian soldiers or fighters of the self-declared pro-Russian separatist Donetsk People’s Republic. This puts them in the position of fighters and sends them where they are shooting, which puts their lives at risk, Vershynin added.

Ukrainian authorities also accuse the invading troops of continuing the forced deportation from Mariupol to Russia. According to Reuters, Mayor Serhiy Orlov said more than 40,000 people had been forcibly expelled from Mariupol to areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists. His adviser, Petro Andryushchenko, previously said Russian troops had deported all of the city’s remaining medical personnel to separatist Donetsk, according to the Unian news agency. According to him, there are no doctors or hospitals in the city.

Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzjanyk described the situation in Mariupol as extremely difficult, Reuters reported. However, according to a ministry spokesperson, Russian forces have yet to fully control the strategic port city.

Washington accepts. Mariupol’s status is still disputed, according to a senior US Department of Defense official. According to him, Moscow has assigned several thousand troops to occupy the port city, who could help Russian troops in eastern and southern Ukraine after they hit the target. However, Ukrainian forces are fighting hard for Mariupol, an official added, according to the CNN station.

On Monday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk called on Russia to allow the creation of a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of people from the besieged city and also from Azovstal. “We demand the accelerated creation of a humanitarian corridor from the Azovstal plant for women, children and other civilians,” Vereščuková told Reuters.

Moscow said on Saturday that Russian troops and pro-Russian separatist units had “cleared” the entire Mariupol metropolitan area of ​​Ukrainian forces and pinned down remaining Ukrainian fighters in Azovstal. Ukrainian soldiers on Sunday rejected a call from the Russian Defense Ministry to lay down their arms, as the resort town promised to save their lives.

Russian troops have been besieging Mariupol since early March, and most of the city and its immediate surroundings appear to be under control. However, according to CNN, the Ukrainian troops imprisoned in the city are resisting despite their overwhelming superiority – but they are only in the resistance islands and their numbers are unclear. Local authorities estimate that at least 21,000 people died in Mariupol due to Russian shelling and fighting.

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