Mariupol The Russian military reportedly fired phosphorus bombs at the Azov steelworks in the port city of Mariupol, according to Ukrainian sources. That should be the reaction to the Kalush Orchestra’s victory at ESC the night before.
“Hell has come to earth. In Azovstal,” Mariupol City Council deputy Petro Andryushchenko wrote on the Telegram news channel on Sunday. He talked about phosphorus bombs, but initially there was no evidence. Such incendiary bombs ignite on contact with oxygen and cause devastating damage. Their use against humans is prohibited. Andryushchenko posted a video with aerial photos showing a rain of fire falling on the plant. Artillery shelling of the industrial zone could also be seen on the initially unverifiable recordings of uncertain origin.
The commander of the separatist brigade in Donetsk “Vostok” (east), Alexander Khodakowski, and Russian war correspondents also published the video on Sunday and spoke of an attack on the factory premises with incendiary projectiles. They are said to be МЗ-21 (9М22С) incendiary rockets, which are fired from the Grad (Hail) multiple rocket launcher.
Andryushchenko also posted images showing inscriptions on bombs. As a result, the Russian military reportedly reacted to Ukraine’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC). We did not know where these photos came from. The alleged bombs read in Russian: “Kalusha, as requested! Auf Azovstal” and in English “Help Mariupol – Help Azovstal right now”, dated May 14. The singer of the group Kalush Orchestra, which won the ESC, said these words in a call on the Turin stage.
In the Ukrainian comments, one could read that the phosphorus bombs were the Russian salute to the victory of the CES. Russian media reported the victory on Sunday evening, but unlike in previous years, state television was not allowed to air the show. Russia is excluded from the CES because of the war of aggression against Ukraine.
According to Ukrainian sources, around 1,000 defenders of Mariupol are entrenched in the steelworks. They refuse Russian calls to surrender. Regarding the bombing of the steel plant, the Russian hate comments also indicated that the fighters had now had enough time to get out of the industrial zone.
Several wives of the last Ukrainian fighters in the field described the dire conditions at the beleaguered steelworks. There is only one glass of water per person per day, one of the women said in an interview quoted by Ukrainian media on Sunday. The woman said she was last able to speak to her husband on the phone a few hours ago. She and the others again called for the evacuation of all entrenched fighters—first the seriously wounded among them. Their situation is “terrible”: Some have arms or legs missing, there are hardly any drugs or narcotics.
According to Ukrainian sources, around 1,000 Mariupol defenders have holed up in the steel plant, which has been surrounded and fired upon by Russians and pro-Russian separatists for weeks. About 600 people are believed to be injured, it was said recently. The Ukrainian army is far from Mariupol and currently has no chance of liberating the city, which has been largely occupied by the Russians. “The mood is pessimistic as there is almost no hope of rescue,” a fighter’s wife said in the interview. “They are preparing for the final battle because they don’t believe in a diplomatic solution.”