Russia is attacking Azovstal despite promised ceasefire, says Ukrainian army

The Ukrainian army said Russian forces “are trying to destroy” the last defenders of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, despite Russia announcing a ceasefire from Thursday morning.

“Russian occupiers are attacking and trying to destroy Ukrainian units in the territory of Azovstal,” the Ukrainian army said in a statement released this morning, adding that Moscow “has resumed the offensive, with the support of planes, to take control of the factory”.

The Ukrainian army’s denunciation came just hours after the Kremlin (Russian presidency) announced on Wednesday night that its forces would carry out a ceasefire for three consecutive days, starting at 05:00 GMT (06:00 in Lisbon) this Thursday, to allow the evacuation of the approximately 200 civilians still present in Azovstal, as stated by the mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boitchenko.

The commander of the Azov regiment, Denys Prokopenko, who leads the defense of the site, indicated, in turn, in a video released on Wednesday night, that Russian forces managed to enter the steelworks and there fought “violent and bloody combats”.

“For two days the enemy has been inside the factory premises,” he admitted in the video posted on the Telegram message network.

“I am proud of my soldiers because they are making superhuman efforts to resist the enemy’s attack. I am grateful to the whole world for the colossal support given to the Mariupol garrison. Our soldiers deserve it,” he added.

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