Evacuating residents from a steel mill in the midst of an attack by Russian invaders was completed on Saturday by Ukrainian soldiers, who proved their mettle.
On Wednesday, a Ukrainian commander within the Azovstal steel complex claimed Russian forces had broken the facility’s outer fence and taken control of the facility.
BREAKING: Mariupol steel plant: All women, children and the elderly evacuated, official says https://t.co/1wUreF53Ml
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 7, 2022
For the second day in a row, Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko, commanding officer of the Azov Regiment, stated in a video message that a “bloody battle” continues inside the Mariupol facility.
This is where Russian forces besiege scores of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.
According to reports, Ukrainian personnel stationed within the massive steel plant are the last of the city’s defense forces to remain.
Armed forces have been hiding with people inside the steel complex in the face of an assault of artillery and airstrikes directed at the facility for several weeks.
Rescue operations at the Azovstal plant in the strategically important port city of Mariupol came to an end after a week of stop-and-go rescue operations.
All women, children, and elderly civilians were removed from the plant.
Women and Children
All women, kids, and the elderly have been moved from Azovstal in accordance with the president’s directive.
According to CNBC, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced, “this portion of the Mariupol humanitarian mission has been completed.”
Azovstal from the space
Eight images of the steel plant in Mariupol from March 10. pic.twitter.com/dagcDTrwkc
— Alexander Khrebet/Олександр Хребет (@AlexKhrebet) May 8, 2022
It is unknown what happened to the Ukrainian forces who were forced into tunnels within the factory, as well as the civilian men who were trapped there.
Thousands of civilians and soldiers had been trapped in the facility for weeks while Russian forces tried to regain control of the city, which would grant them access to strategically essential ports on the Azov Sea.
Efforts to evacuate civilians from the plant began last weekend after the United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross mediated the process.
However, the effort was hindered by the resumption of fighting. According to Reuters, the city’s mayor believed earlier this week that as many as 200 residents were still trapped inside the plant.
Victory and No Surrender
On April 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory over the Ukrainian city of Mariupol and ordered the fighters to disarm. Nevertheless, they remained in the factory in disobedience of the order.
Ukrainian forces stranded at the factory refused to submit to the Russian invaders, sparking international efforts to rescue the warriors from their captivity.
The Russians launched yet another attack on the facility on Saturday to eliminate the remainder of the city’s defenders before they were defeated.
A rising number of people believe the Kremlin will seek to wipe out the fighters by Monday, the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, which falls on Monday.
Since the beginning of the conflict in February, tens of thousands of people have perished, and millions more Ukrainians have been displaced.