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Ukrainian Ministry of Defence: Current plan is the only way to save Azovstal defenders

Tuesday, 17 May 2022, 15:28
Ukrainian Ministry of Defence: Current plan is the only way to save Azovstal defenders

Valentyna Romanenko – Tuesday, 17 May 2022, 15:28

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence insists that the only way to rescue Ukrainian soldiers defending the Azovstal steelworks is to follow the current plan.

Source: Hanna Maliar, Deputy Minister of Defence, press briefing on 17 May

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Quote from Maliar: "We will conduct an operation to return them [Ukrainian defenders of Azovstal] to Ukrainian-controlled territory. We have also reported that it is, unfortunately, impossible to break the siege [of Azovstal] militarily, and the current plan is the only way to save Azovstal defenders. It was the only option.

We must recall that members of the National Guard, National Police forces, border guards, Ukrainian Armed Forces – in particular the 36th Marines Brigade – and Mariupol’s territorial defence were all defending Mariupol, and they have fulfilled their combat mission.

Thanks to the resistance put up by Mariupol’s defenders, the enemy was not able to transfer units of troops. Nearly 20,000 military personnel were prevented from being transferred to other regions [of Ukraine], in turn preventing the enemy from quickly capturing Zaporizhzhia. The enemy could not create favourable conditions to encircle [Ukrainian] Joint Forces.

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Most importantly, Mariupol’s resistance bought us crucial time to create further lines of defence, form a reserve, and carry out other critically important tasks of the military operation."

Details: Maliar stressed that Mariupol’s defenders have entirely fulfilled their combat mission and that the operation to rescue them from the Azovstal plant is currently underway.

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