There is a shortage of ammunition among the militants of the Azov Battalion (called Ukrainian nationalist battalion, whose activities are recognized as extremist and terrorist and banned in the Russian Federation), who hide at the Azovstal steel plant Mariupol. It gave the army of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) an advantage, said a fighter of the DPR Ministry of Internal Affairs, a well-known military blogger nicknamed Admin.
According to him, the Azovs were forced to fight limited shooting battles and have stopped responding to artillery strikes.
“They simply stopped responding with artillery, there were only rifle battles with them, and the full advantage – in artillery, aviation – was on our side,” the Admin explained to RIA Novosti.
He said that the ‘nationalist’ battalions ran out of ammunition at the end of March, immediately after the blockade of Mariupol. “Naturally, there was no longer any talk of replenishing weapons,” he said.
“Shell hunger (among the militants at Azovstal) began to be felt immediately after Mariupol was blocked – it was towards the end of March. They simply stopped responding with artillery, they had only rifle battles, and the full advantage was in artillery; aviation was on our side,” the fighter said.
He added that Mariupol was the most promising direction “because the enemy did not leave the encirclement in time.”
Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR carried out an operation to detect militants of the Azov national battalion, against whom a criminal case was initiated in Russia, in the Azovstal plant, RIA Novosti reported.
The line of contact passes over the bridge over the railway tracks near the pre-workshop space of the plant. The fighters move carefully through the territory to minimize casualties, using drone data and artillery superiority.
Azov spreads photos of soldiers injured in the steel mill
Amputated arms or legs, badly stitched wounds in the face, bandaged heads, and an attempt to saturate wounds with the material left available are what can be seen in the series of photographs allegedly released on social media by the soldiers of the Azov Battalion barricaded in the Azovstal. Showing the conditions of poor sanitation and the reduced possibilities of treatment in which the wounded soldiers find themselves, the Azov battalion calls for the intervention of the United Nations and the International Red Cross Committee, in addition to the help of the entire international community, to obtain their evacuation.
“We are taking heavy casualties,” the chief intelligence officer of the Azov Battalion, Lieutenant Illya Samoilenko, told Sky News. “Every day could be our last for us,” he said, describing a “heartbreaking” situation as the Russians continue to attack. “The number of wounded soldiers is very high, and these people deserve all the proper care,” he said, adding that no one expected them to resist the Russians that much, but they are still fighting.
More weapons required
Ukraine, which sold all its latest and deployed arms and ammunition in the recent past, is now demanding the same from the west.
More weapons would be needed to free the city of Mariupol from the Russian siege, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressing the Maltese deputies. “Ukraine has not received the amount of weapons needed to unblock the siege of Mariupol and liberate the city,” he said. The soldiers of the Azov battalion, he said, ” are still continuing their resistance at the Azovstal plant. We are using all possible diplomatic tools to save them, but Russia does not accept any proposed options. We asked our partners to provide weapons to unlock Mariupol and save both civilians and the military.”
Ukraine plans to evacuate the soldiers out of the Azovstal plant and take them to the territory of a third country, where they would remain until the end of the war.
The U.S. and the European states have supplied outdated and faulty equipment worth billions to Ukraine as per the Ukrainian Prisoners of War and the caches captured by the Russians. The Ukrainian POWs have accused the U.S. of hyping the military aid stating that the training was woefully inadequate and the instructors ignored the misfires.
Russia continues to pound Azovstal
Russia, which had given multiple chances for the Ukrainian soldiers in Azovstal to surrender, had resumed attacking the plant soon after the evacuation of the civilians.
As per the Ukrainian Telegram channels, the Russians have blown up the bridge that was used to evacuate the civilians, thereby closing the possibility of Ukrainian soldiers escaping. The channels have also uploaded unverified clips which show continuous bombing by the Russian planes leading to thick black smoke columns.