Kremlin denies Western media reports
Western media are reporting Wednesday that Russian forces are bombarding the Azovstal steel plant where remnants of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion are holed up. According to the Daily Mail, Russia has used “lung crushing thermobaric bombs” in the last 24 hours to dislodge the defenders.
Vadym Boichenko, the Kiev regime mayor of Mariupol said. “There is heavy fighting ongoing inside the I have lost contact with those inside.”
“There is no way of knowing what’s going on, whether they are safe or not,’ he said.
Captain Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov battalion which is defending the plant, said an assault on the steel works began Tuesday afternoon with tanks, armoured vehicles, boats and ‘large numbers of infantry’ moving in.
‘We will do everything possible to repel this assault,’ he said in his last video message before communications were cut.
The Kremlin meanwhile has denied that Russian forces were storming the Azovstal plant. What was happening was Russian troops were preventing the Azov fighters from taking up firing positions. “There is no assault. We see that flare-ups occur when militants get out to assume gun emplacements. These attempts are being suppressed quite promptly,” Dmitry Peskov the Kremlin spokesman told journalists on Wednesday.
The Donetsk Peoples Republic claimed that the Azov militants took advantage of the ceasefire evacuation to take up new fighting positions. In a teleconference briefing with the Russian General Staff, the Russian defence minister Sergei Shiogu said “In accordance with instructions from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the remnants of the militants located in the Azovstal plant industrial zone are securely blocked along the entire perimeter of this territory. Repeated appeals to the nationalists to release the civilians and lay down arms with a guarantee of life and dignified treatment in accordance with international law have been ignored. We are continuing these attempts.”
“Units of the Russian army together with the people’s militias of the Lugansk and the Donetsk people’s republics are expanding their control over the territories of the LPR and DPR.” Shiogu said.
He also announced that NATO weapon deliveries are now a legitimate target. “Any North Atlantic Alliance transport arriving in the country with weapons or materiel for the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is considered a legitimate target for us to hit.”
The Russian Defence Ministry also announced a big military parade for May 9th the 77th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany by Soviet forces.
“1,000 people, 131 pieces of weapons and military equipment and 77 aircraft will take part in the parade on Red Square, dedicated to the 77th anniversary of the Victory. This year, military parades will take place in 28 Russian cities. They will involve nearly 65,000 people, about 2,400 four hundred weapons and military equipment, and more than 460 aircraft.” The Russian MoD statement read.
Source Daily Mail/Russian MoD/Kremlin