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Apr 23, 2022
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Ivan Konovalov from Mariupol: 400 mercenaries and Bandera on Azovstal still hope that America will help them

In the photo: view of the Azovstal plant.

In the photo: view of the Azovstal plant. (Photo: AP/TASS)

The Russian military, together with the forces of the people’s militia of the DPR, completely liberated Mariupol, blocking the remnants of Ukrainian nationalist formations in the industrial zone of the Azovstal plant. About this Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu reported to the President Vladimir Putin.

At the same time, the head of the defense department specified that at the time of the encirclement of the city, which took place on March 11, the total number of the AFU grouping and nationalist formations, as well as foreign mercenaries, was about 8,100 people in the city.

“During the liberation of the city, more than four thousand were destroyed, 1,478 surrendered, the remaining group – more than two thousand – was blocked in the industrial zone of the Azovstal plant,” Shoigu said.

The minister also named the deadline for the liberation of the Azovstal industrial zone and assured Putin that the militants who refused to lay down their arms were “substantially blocked.”

“As for those who fled at the Azovstal plant and were thoroughly blocked there and around the entire perimeter, it takes us about three or four days to complete this work at Azovstal,” he said.

In response, the President of Russia proposed to abandon the assault.

“I consider the proposed assault on the industrial zone to be inappropriate. I order you to cancel. <…> This is the case when we must think – that is, we must always think, but even more so in this case – about preserving the life and health of our soldiers and officers. There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground along these industrial facilities, ”the president said, demanding instead of an assault to block the industrial zone and invite the enemy to surrender.

Of course, from a military point of view, the decision is reasonable. There is no hurry, time works for the allied forces, besides, it is necessary to release the army to strike at the enemy’s Donetsk grouping.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of questions. The main one is how long the remaining two thousand militants can still hold out in their catacombs? But we are talking about real catacombs, which would be extremely difficult to take by storm without mass casualties.

According to RT, who worked at Azovstal, a doctor of science and a specialist in the field of ferrous metallurgy Irina Butorinathe enterprise, like many others in the USSR, was designed by the central Moscow institute Gipromez, so the plant differs little from other metallurgical buildings.

“They say that Azovstal has an underground tunnel that connects the plant with the Ilyich plant. Enterprises stand far from each other, across the Kalmius River. I think there are five kilometers between them, but everyone says that the tunnel exists,” she said.

According to her, there are large underground spaces under the plant, in particular, huge gas ducts made of refractory bricks to remove large volumes of flue gases. Therefore, you can hide underground for a very long time.

In addition, according to her, many residential buildings were built near Azovstal.

“At night, militants come out of the plant through underground passages and set up ambushes. During the day, the microdistrict is cleaned, and then everything repeats. How do you follow the bandits? The ruins are solid there, ”Butorina noted.

According to the Topwar portal, the militants are trying to escape from the city one by one or in small groups of 2-3 people. Moreover, they often try to break through directly through the checkpoints, which indicates either that they are “under prohibited substances”, or that the level of desperation is prohibitive and, in principle, they are ready for anything – even trying to escape from automatic bursts at their feet from a distance at 30-50 meters.

Is this despair? Or do they all hope for an agreement?

— The situation is simple. If the Armed Forces were there, they would have surrendered long ago, I’m sure military expert, political scientist, development director of the Fund for the Promotion of Technologies of the 21st Century Ivan Konovalov, who is in Mariupol and sees everything with his own eyes.

“But the Azov people are well motivated, they understand what fate awaits them, if they are caught alive, the inhabitants of the republics will not forgive them.

In addition, there may still be foreign mercenaries up to 400 people. These continue to resist, as they hope that Kyiv and Washington will be able to negotiate with Moscow. After all, if they are captured, it will be a wild international scandal. And if there are also high-ranking retired officers who worked in Ukraine through PMCs?

They may be trying to go to residential areas nearby, which they have been doing regularly lately. But not in order to leave, this is no longer possible, but in order to engage in sabotage activities. This helps to maintain morale ourselves and to demonstrate to ours that they are alive and continue to resist, besides, they can still inflict some damage.

But recently it has become much more difficult, since our people have already entered the industrial zone, and it is unrealistic to break through from there. And it is obvious that they have more and more problems with weapons. Heavy artillery is no longer there, only mortars are sometimes fired.

“SP”: – Will they try to make a breakthrough when there is no longer any hope of salvation?

– We tried last week. Predictably, to no avail. They defeated the column, many were captured, the rest died. So there are only night attacks in the “disturbing” mode.

“SP”: – How long do you think they can last there?

— It is difficult to answer. They were preparing for the siege, preparing the territory. And it is designed in general for the event of a nuclear war. There are serious communications. Stocks of food, water, technical water, fuel and lubricants. You can exist with a certain level of comfort, and for a very long time. And we must understand that the fewer people remain alive (and they, as they themselves say, have 500 wounded), the more opportunities the remaining ones have to hold out on the remaining stocks. Some loners can stay there for a very long time.

But this, in any case, does not solve anything. The city is completely liberated, lives its own life, is being restored.


* Images of chevrons of the Azov Battalion, recognized as extremist by the decision of the Frunzensky District Court of Vladimir 11/30/2015 and included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials under item 3269.

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