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Russian victory claims at Azovstal steel plant squashed ‘Giving the Kremlin zero credit!’

Mariupol steel plant a 'battlefield victory' for Ukraine says expert

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The military analyst believes the battle for the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol was a “battlefield victory” for Ukraine. Mark Hertling argued that despite the defenders of the steel plant being forced to surrender to Russian forces their stubborn resistance during the siege managed to tie down thousands of Vladimir Putin’s troops around the southern port city. The retired US commander recently told a US news outlet he gave the Kremlin “zero credit” for finally capturing Azovstal. 

The retired US Lieutenant-General told CNN: “I am giving the Kremlin zero credit, there were about 1500 soldiers plus or minus 100 Ukrainian soldiers in that Azovstal plant, they held off between some estimates are between 12-14,000 Russian soldiers.

“This was a battlefield victory even though at the end, the Ukrainian forces had to surrender because of the lack of supplies food and water.

“But they held out against probably close to 20 battalion tactical groups that could have been used elsewhere in the fight and Russia could not regenerate those forces to go into the Donbas.

“So this fight in Mariupol is going to go down in Ukrainian history,  I firmly believe much like the Battle of Bastogne, the Battle of Trenton in New Jersey, all of the historical battles of wars where there was seeming defeat that was later turned into victory. 

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“I think this is going to live on in Ukrainian legend and heraldry for hundreds of years into the future what those fighters did in Mariupol.”

The end of fighting in Mariupol, the biggest city Russia has captured, has given Putin a rare victory after a series of setbacks in nearly three months of combat.

The last Ukrainian forces holed up Mariupol’s vast Azovstal steelworks have surrendered, the Russian defence ministry said on Friday. While Ukraine has not confirmed a full withdrawal, the commander of one of the units in the factory, said in a video that Ukraine’s military command had ordered the troops there to stand down in order to preserve their lives.

Mariupol’s full control gives Russia command of a land route linking the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow seized in 2014, with mainland Russia and parts of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russia separatists.

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Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine’s military had told the last defenders at the steelworks they could get out and save their lives.

Russia’s defence ministry said that 2,439 defenders had surrendered in the past few days, including 531 in the final group.

The Ukrainians did not immediately confirm the figures on Azovstal.

Mr Zelensky told local television that while the fighting would be bloody and victory difficult, the end would only come through diplomacy.


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“For them, all these victories – the occupation of Crimea or Donbas – is very temporary. And all this will return – since this is our territory,” he said on Saturday.

The Red Cross said it had registered hundreds of Ukrainians who surrendered at the Mariupol steel plant as prisoners of war and Kyiv says it wants a prisoner swap.

Moscow says the prisoners will be treated humanely, but Russian politicians have been quoted as saying some must be tried or even executed.

Russia has also launched what appeared to be a major assault to seize the last remaining Ukrainian-held territory in Luhansk, one of two provinces that make up the southeastern Donbas region: where Russian-backed separatists already controlled swathes of territory before the February 24 invasion.

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