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Russia attempting to 'storm again and again' Mariupol steel factory, Ukraine official says


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A Mariupol official said Wednesday that the Russian military is attempting to “storm again and again” a steel factory in the city where officials have said up to 1,000 civilians are taking cover. 

The continuing blitz on the Azovstal plant comes a day after the Mariupol City Council shared what it described as “scary” images of medical work being done to treat the injured still trapped inside the sprawling industrial complex. 

“Air attacks on Azovstal do not subside. No silence, but attempts to storm again and again,” Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to Mariupol’s mayor, wrote on his Telegram page Wednesday. 

The Azovstal Iron and Steel Works factory in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Friday, April 22.

The Azovstal Iron and Steel Works factory in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Friday, April 22.
(REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

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Andryushchenko said the repeated attacks show Vladimir Putin’s army is “not hiding further plans for Azovstal and our defenders.” 

“At the same time, street fights continue again in the sector from the Azovstal plant management to the street,” he added. 

On Tuesday, Mariupol’s City Council released graphic images purportedly showing wounds being treated by medical workers inside the Azovstal factory. 

Smoke rises above the Mariupol Azovstal Iron and Steel Works factory on April 21.

Smoke rises above the Mariupol Azovstal Iron and Steel Works factory on April 21.
(REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

“This is what the hospital in one of Azovstal’s shelters looks like. Scary photos. But the world needs to know what’s going on,” it said on its Telegram page. 

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The council said women, children and the elderly are among those taking refuge in the factory in “unsanitary” and “terrible” conditions, without medication. 

A Ukrainian solider from the Azov Battalion and civilians gather on Orthodox Easter Sunday in this handout image at the Azovstal steel plant where soldiers are holding out and civilians sheltering. 

A Ukrainian solider from the Azov Battalion and civilians gather on Orthodox Easter Sunday in this handout image at the Azovstal steel plant where soldiers are holding out and civilians sheltering. 
(Azov/Handout via Reuters)

Also on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, proposed the formation of a “humanitarian contact group” that would facilitate safe evacuations of Ukrainians trapped in cities like Mariupol. 

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