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Ukrainian news – live: Russia attacks Mariupol steel plant with hundreds of civilians trapped inside

Russian troops stand in front of the destroyed Azovstal Iron and Steel Works office building

(REUTERS)

Russian forces are attacking the steel plant, which is the last Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol, the Ukrainian official said.

Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said at a briefing on Saturday that Russian forces had resumed raids on the Azovstal factory and were trying to attack it.

“The enemy is trying to completely suppress the resistance of Mariupol defenders in the Azovstal region,” Arestovich said.

On Thursday, Mr Putin ordered the Russian army not to attack the power plant after his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that all of Mariupol, with the exception of Azovstal, had been “liberated” by the Russians.

Instead, the Russian president called for a blockade of the area in an attempt to stifle the remaining focus of resistance there.

Ukrainian officials estimate that the factory has about 2,000 of its soldiers, along with about 1,000 civilians – including women and children – who are hiding in the underground tunnels of the four-square-mile facility.

Arestovich says that despite the renewed attacks, the Ukrainian fighters are still holding on and even trying to face them.

Key points

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Watch: Women and children trapped in Mariupol steelworks want to see “peaceful skies” and “breathe fresh air”

The Azov Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard, whose members are imprisoned in the Azovstal factory, previously published footage of about two dozen women and children, some of whom were in underground tunnels for two months.

The Azovstal footage showed the soldiers giving sweets to the children, who responded with punches. One young girl says she and her relatives have “seen neither the sky nor the sun” since they left home on February 27.

“We want to see the calm sky, we want to breathe fresh air,” said one woman in the video. “You have no idea what it means for us to eat and drink sugary tea. It’s lucky for us. ”

Regiment Deputy Commander Sviatoslav Palamar told the AP that the video was shot on Thursday, the same day that Russia declared victory over the rest of Mariupol. The content could not be independently verified.

Aisha Rimi April 23, 2022 1:21 PM

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Breaking: Russian forces attack the steel plant in Mariupol

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Putin’s “nuclear blackmail” is likely to increase international demand for nuclear weapons, the expert warns

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Former Deputy Presidential Assistant when Donald Trump was in office, told BBC Radio 4 Today: [Mr Putin] Basically every country says: You need a nuclear weapon.

“So the whole idea of ​​non-proliferation is basically out the window, because it’s basically very clear that the reason we’re not going to Russia with everything we have is because they have a nuclear weapon and he says he’s ready to use one.

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“On the contrary, everyone thinks, ‘If I have to have a good defensive stance, I can’t rely on someone coming to my aid, I need a nuclear weapon.’

“So we’re in a whole new area where we weren’t even during the Cold War, so it requires really strong diplomacy.”

She continued: “If you are Japan and South Korea, for example, you are really rethinking your non-nuclear stance and your dependence on the United States. Putin threatened everything. “

Aisha Rimi April 23, 2022 12:17 PM

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Dmitry Rogozin, who runs Roscosmos, said he would be based in Uzhuru, less than 2,000 miles from Moscow, according to Tasss.

Rory Sullivan April 23, 2022 11:50 PM

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Rory Sullivan April 23, 2022 11:30 PM

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My colleague Namita Singh will look at other countries that Russia might see:

Rory Sullivan April 23, 2022 11:10 PM

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Russia’s shelling of Luhansk is intensifying, says the regional governor

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Serhiy Haidai confirmed on television that some Ukrainian forces are leaving the settlements to regroup, adding that this is not a critical obstacle.

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Rory Sullivan April 23, 2022 10:50 PM

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Ukrainian jet shot down in the Kharkiv region, Russia claims

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Ukraine has not yet responded to Russian news.

Rory Sullivan April 23, 2022 10:30 PM

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Nearly 22,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war, Ukraine says

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A total of 854 Russian tanks and 177 Russian aircraft were destroyed.

Here are the latest Ukrainian estimates:

Rory Sullivan April 23, 2022 10:10 PM

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“Today we will try to evacuate women, children and the elderly again,” Iryna Vereshchuk said in an online post.

Rory Sullivan April 23, 2022 9:50 PM