Russia attacks Mariupol steelworks for the first time with tanks

Attacks continue in eastern Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry accused the Azov regiment of taking advantage of a ceasefire called to evacuate civilians to move into new positions at the sprawling factory site. They would now be attacked.

AFP journalists on Tuesday saw dozens of people rescued from the factory, including a baby, get off buses at a reception center in Zaporizhia, 230 kilometers away.

Natalia Usmanova (l) was evacuated from the steelworks on Sunday: she was taken to the Donbass on a bus with others from Mariupol.
Natalia Usmanova (l) was evacuated from the steelworks on Sunday: she was taken to the Donbass on a bus with others from Mariupol. (Source: Alexander Ermoshenko/Reuters images)

Meanwhile, in other parts of eastern Ukraine, Russia continued its attacks with undiminished severity. According to media reports, parts of the western city of Lviv were without power after three power stations were damaged by rockets, according to Mayor Andriy Sadowyj.

Missile attacks on Odessa

Rocket attacks were also reported from Vinnytsia in the center, Odessa in the southwest and Kirovograd in the center of the country. For the first time since the start of the Russian war of aggression on February 24, the Transcarpathian region near the border with Hungary was also attacked with rockets, as reported by regional governor Viktor Mikita in the service Telegram online.

At least 10 people were killed and 15 injured in a Russian attack on a coking plant in Avdiivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. According to him, five other people were killed by shelling in the town of Lyman, four in Wugledar, and there was one death each in the villages of Welyka Nowosilka and Schandrygolowe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called on Western countries to stop arms sales to Ukraine. In a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Putin accused Ukraine’s armed forces of war crimes that the EU “did not know”, according to the Kremlin. The West could “help stop these atrocities” by putting pressure on kyiv “and stopping arms deliveries to Ukraine,” Putin said.

According to the Elysee Palace, Macron called Putin in the first joint telephone conversation since late March to allow the continued evacuation of civilians from Azov steelworks to Mariupol. The French head of state stressed that the survivors should have the choice of where they should be taken “in accordance with international humanitarian law”. The Russians previously said some of those rescued from the plant had “voluntarily” remained in the pro-Russian separatist zone.

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