Home News Russia is intensifying the bombing of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol

Russia is intensifying the bombing of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol

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Russian forces intensified their bombardment of the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol on Friday.

The plant, located in the port of southern Ukraine, is the last bastion of Ukrainian defenders in a city almost completely controlled by Russia after a siege of more than two months.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Verschiuk said on Friday that negotiations with Russia to remove defenders from the Azovstal plant were “very difficult”, but did not provide details, according to Reuters.

A large column of Russian forces and pro-Russian separatists was seen marching from Mariupol to Donetsk.

The Russian bombing of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol has left a large number of people who cannot be evacuated

The President of Ukraine said that there had been very difficult talks on the evacuation of “a large number” of wounded soldiers from the besieged steelworks in the strategic port of Mariupol in the southeast, in exchange for the release of Russian prisoners of war.

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Mariupol, which has had its worst fighting in nearly three months of war, is now in Russian hands, but hundreds of Ukrainian defenders still resist the Azovstal steelmaking despite weeks of heavy Russian bombing.

The fierce Ukrainian resistance, which military analysts say President Vladimir Putin and his generals failed to anticipate when they launched the invasion on February 24, has slowed and, in some places, reversed Russian progress around Ukraine. “At the moment, very complex negotiations are under way on the next phase of the evacuation mission – the removal of the seriously injured, the doctors,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a late speech.

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He said “influential” international intermediaries were involved in the talks, without elaborating. Russia, which initially insisted that Soviet-era bunkers be abandoned, said little in public about the talks.

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