In addition to Ukrainian troops, many civilians are also on the site of a steel factory in besieged Mariupol. The police chief reports that civilians are hiding from Russian attacks.
The Russian army has largely taken the port city, and the last defenders are said to be entrenched on the factory site.
“The citizens do not trust the Russians. They see what is happening in the city, and that is why they stay on the factory site,” the police chief told local state television. The information has not been independently verified. At least thousands of soldiers are said to be sitting on the huge site with underground facilities.
According to the police chief, there are still about 100,000 civilians in Mariupol. There has been no electricity, gas or water supply there for weeks. There is also almost no food left. Before the war, the city had about 430,000 inhabitants. Most people have fled, but many have also been killed. Last week, the mayor said that some 21,000 civilians had died in the city.
Mariupol is located in a strategically important location for Russia. By conquering the city and the surrounding area, Russia will be able to establish a land link between the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, and pro-Russian territories in eastern Ukraine.