Putin’s refusal to seize ‘Azovstal’ shows desire to divert forces, British intelligence says

Kremlin landlord Vladimir Putin’s announcement of an attack on the Ukrainian-controlled Azovstall metallurgical plant in Mariupol is thought to indicate a desire to release forces elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, the British military intelligence said.

Putin said in a televised conversation with Defense Minister Sergei Shoig on Thursday that it was “unreasonable” to attack the “Azovstal” complex, so that “the lives of soldiers must be saved”. The dictator ordered the area to be surrounded so that “even a fly cannot fly away”.

A British Department of Defense TV quote on Friday explained that a ground attack on the Azovstall complex would likely inflict significant damage on the Russians, further reducing the effectiveness of the occupiers’ fighting.

The ministry notes that heavy shootings and fighting continue in the east of Donbass, with Russia trying to move forward and pursue its plans to seize the region.

Despite the new targets, Russia continues to suffer losses in the first phase of the conflict, British intelligence said. “In an effort to rebuild their weakened forces, they have begun sending the non-working equipment back to Russia for repair,” the entry said.

Mariupol has been under siege by Russian forces since early March. The men of the “Azov” regiment, together with the Marines, still retained their positions in the large “Azovstal” complex. Hundreds of civilians are also hiding in the factory bunkers.

Azov reported on Tuesday that the plant had been almost completely destroyed in the Russian attacks and that many people were under the rubble.

On Wednesday morning, in Mariupol’s siege of Mariupol, the commander of the Marines warned that the city’s defenders had only “days or hours left” and asked world leaders to arrange for troops, wounded and civilians to be taken to the third country.

“This could be our last address to the world. This could be the last request in our lives. These may be our last days, if not hours,” says Volina in a short video address.

He explains that the opponent’s superiority ratio is 10: 1, the occupiers have superiority in the air, with artillery, infantry, equipment and tanks. Soldiers in Mariupol defend themselves at the last facility – the “Azovstal” factory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Thursday that Ukraine is now unable to unlock Mariupol by military means, writes UNIAN. On Wednesday, the president revealed that Ukraine is ready for any exchange options to rescue Mariupol defenders and civilians.

More than 90% of buildings in Mariupol have been destroyed.

Mariupol is one of Russia’s strategic goals. Ukrainian officials estimate that the ruthless bombing of the city has claimed the lives of some 20,000 civilians, but tens of thousands could be taken to Russia.

It is estimated that around 100,000 people are still trapped in Mariupol, the BBC reports. Before the war there lived 400,000. Mariupol has been under siege since the first days of the war.

The conquest of Mariupol would give Russia control of much of the territory in the south and east of Ukraine, as well as a secure land connection from Russia to the Crimea.

Mariupol is an important port, the loss of which is causing economic problems for Kiev.

For the Kremlin, conquering Mariupol would be an opportunity to present “success” in a war lasting more than a month, as well as an opportunity for propaganda about “denacification.”

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine with rocket fire, airstrikes and ground forces began in the early hours of 24 February. However, for more than 50 days, Russian forces have not been able to occupy the capital, Kiev, or any of Ukraine’s other major cities.

Source: The Delfi





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