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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday confirmed that he had “liberated” the strategic port city of Mariupol in Ukraine, which was questioned by his US envoy Joe Biden, who announced an additional $ 800 million in military aid to Kiev.
It comes at a time when anti-Ukrainian troops are concentrating on the large “Azovestal” steel plant in this coastal town south of the Donbass region, which has become a pile of rubble after being besieged by Russian forces for almost two hours. Months.
They refuse to surrender, and Svyatoslav Palmer, deputy commander of the “Azov” battalion, via telegram, demands a “guarantee” of security from the “civilized world.”
Despite a fresh call to lay down arms for Ukrainian militants retreating to the “Azovstel” industrial complex on Thursday, they refused to surrender.
In this context, Putin, during a meeting with his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, considered the proposed attack on the industrial zone “inappropriate” and ordered its “cancellation”.
“We must consider the lives and health of our soldiers and officers, and we must not go through these ditches,” he said, but “besiege the whole area so that not a single fly can pass through.”
Biden, on the other hand, considered the Russian military’s control of the city “questionable.” “There is no evidence yet that Mariupol fell completely,” he said, stressing that Putin would “never succeed in controlling and occupying the whole of Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry wrote a tweet yesterday, recalling a call from the commander of the “Azov” battalion calling for the establishment of an “emergency humanitarian corridor” with security “guarantees” to evacuate civilians. “There are still too many” in the factory.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky confirmed that “thousands of civilians, including women and children” were still in the factory, as well as “hundreds of injured.” On Thursday, Mariupol Meyer spoke of “300,000 to 1,000 civilians.”
According to Sergei Shoiku, there are still 2,000 militants in the steel plant, and the Russian Defense Minister has not named any of them civilians.
Numbers declared from an independent source cannot be verified.
Amid the losses caused by the Russian invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky announced on Thursday that he needed $ 7 billion a month to keep his country’s economy afloat.
After a meeting with the heads of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, he said that “the Russian military aims to destroy all goods in Ukraine.”
The Director General of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, on Thursday stressed the need to provide financial assistance to Ukraine in the form of donations “as far as possible.” Large debts on Kiev complicating post-war recovery.
The discharges begin again
Ukrainian authorities fear that more than 20,000 people have died in Mariupol, which had a population of 450,000 before the war, due to fighting on the one hand and a lack of food, water and electricity on the other.
The Russian military took control of much of the city a few days ago and toured the captured sites with foreign journalists.
During the siege imposed on the city, the evacuation of civilians was rare and risky, but on Thursday Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vareshchuk revealed that four buses had left the city for Saboria, two hundred kilometers away, to evacuate civilians.
In the afternoon, three buses arrived in Saboria, an AFP reporter said.
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