April 2, 2023

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The siege of Azovstal ends and the Russians seize a steel factory |  right Now

The siege of Azovstal ends and the Russians seize a steel factory | right Now

Once a day, NU.nl gives you an overview of the situation in Ukraine. This time: the last group of Ukrainian soldiers at the Azovstal steel plant was said to have surrendered. Thus, Russian troops completely captured the plant in Mariupol. The official Russian news agency reported that Ria Based on the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The steel plant was the last stronghold in the Ukrainian port city that was not in the hands of the Russians. The Russians besieged the plant for weeks. Hundreds of civilians and military personnel were trapped, completely isolated, without food or medical aid. On May 7 it was announced that all women, children and the elderly had been evacuated from the factory.

On Monday, the evacuation of Ukrainian soldiers who were holed up in the factory began. “The Mariupol garrison has completed its combat mission,” said the commander of the Ukrainian army. The commanders of the units stationed in Azovstal were ordered to “save the lives of people.”

Volodymyr Zelensky’s government wants to exchange soldiers captured by Russia as Russian prisoners of war, but many Russian politicians are calling for a Moscow trial.

The last group will consist of 531 people.

Civilian deaths in the Donets Basin

Then the Donets Basin. There, homes in residential areas were destroyed in Friday’s attacks. The Ukrainian government said civilians were killed.

According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Russian offensive has now turned the region into “hell”.

“The Russian army has started very intense destruction of the city of Severodonetsk, the intensity of the bombing has increased. They are bombing residential areas and destroying house by house,” Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said on his Telegram channel.

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“We don’t know how many people have died because it’s impossible to check every apartment.” According to the Ukrainian army, the Russians are bombing civilian infrastructure throughout the Donets Basin.

As far as is known, at least 13 civilians were killed in Luhansk province on Friday, 12 of them in Severodonetsk. This is one of the last cities in the territory currently controlled by Ukraine and surrounded by the Russians. Reuters It has not been able to independently verify the number of casualties and Russia denies systematically targeting civilians.

Analysts say that while Russian forces have made territorial gains in Luhansk, they have made less progress in Donetsk, the province south of Luhansk that is also part of the Donetsk Basin region.

Russia will shut off the gas tap to Finland on Saturday

It was also announced on Friday that Russia’s state gas company Gazprom will turn off the gas tap for Finland on Saturday morning. Why this happens is unknown. According to the Finnish state gas company Gasum, the gas supply of Finnish households is not in danger.

The company says it will supply the country’s residents via the so-called Balticconnector pipeline, which runs between Estonia and Finland. “We have been preparing for this scenario for some time and will be able to supply our customers – if there are no further disruptions – as usual in the coming months,” said Mika Weljanin, CEO of Gasum.

So it is not clear why the tap is off. Gazum had previously been at loggerheads with Gazprom over how to pay the gas bill. The Russian state-owned company wants to see rubles for it, something Gazum rejects.

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The Finnish company claims that gas supplies can be paid in euros in accordance with the contract. In this regard, Gazum decided to go to the judge to step. Earlier, the supply of Russian gas to Poland and Bulgaria stopped because these two countries refused to pay in rubles.

In the background, Finland’s rapprochement with NATO may play a role. The country applied for membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization earlier this week after decades of neutrality. The Russians are vehemently opposed to it as a neighboring country.

New photos of the involvement of Russian forces in the executions of Bucha

I also mentioned New York times Friday that Russian paratroopers participated in the executions in Bucha, Ukraine. The Russians held the Kyiv suburb for more than a month. Hundreds of civilian bodies were found after they withdrew in April.

In one of the videos, from a security camera, two paratroopers can be seen driving nine Ukrainian men down the street at full speed. Seated prisoners walk, one hand behind their heads and the other holding their ancestor’s belt.

The second video from a nearby house. Shows how men were taken to a courtyard. The video ended, but eyewitnesses told the newspaper’s reporters that the army transferred the detainees from there to the nearby Russian headquarters. They were shot there.

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The photos are dated March 4th. Paratroopers had captured Bucha the day before.