Russia Issues Ultimatum To Azov Steel Plant

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Russia announced a blockade of Mariupol's entrances and exits from April 18 and warned that a "filter check" of all men left in the city would take place. The Azov Steel Plant has become the last bastion of the Ukrainian army in Mariupol. Russia confirmed on the 18th that there are still about 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers and about 400 foreign mercenaries who refuse to hold on to the "ultimatum". "Moscow is gradually approaching complete control of the city," the British "Guardian," said on the 18th that Mariupol is the largest trading port in the Sea of ​​Azov, through which Ukraine exports grain, steel and heavy machinery while occupying this Ukraine The southern city means Russia will have "full access" to a land corridor to Crimea. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the 17th that he is "ready to fight against Russia for 10 years", while the US media said on the 18th that although the United States and NATO have recently increased their efforts to transport heavy weapons such as tanks and helicopters to Ukraine, the Ukrainian arms Aid "may run out within days".

Russian army begins issuing passports

According to a CNN report on the 18th, Ukrainian and U.S. officials claimed that the Russian army "filtered and checked" all-male civilians in the urban area of ​​Mariupol they controlled, subjected them to "biometric screening" and confiscated mobile phones. etc, and in some cases, they are also "forced to be sent to Russia". On the evening of the 17th, Mariupol mayoral adviser Andryushenko said on the social media platform that the Russian army had announced the blockade of Mariupol entrances and exits on the 18th and began to issue passes in the city: "Hundreds of citizens must Queuing up to receive passes, those without passes will not only be able to move between districts in the city from next week (18th), but also unable to go out to the streets.”

According to CNN, Mariupol has been surrounded by Russian troops since March 1, and now "most of the city has fallen into Russian hands." The Russian Ministry of Defense shouted to the Ukrainian army at the Azov Steel Plant that they would surrender their weapons if they wanted to survive, but the Ukrainian defenders rejected the Russian "ultimatum". The Russian Defense Ministry had asked Mariupol's Ukrainian troops to surrender before 1 pm local time on the 17th. Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Mariar said that Russia may be preparing for an amphibious landing to reinforce its ground forces as Russia continues its airstrikes on Mariupol.

Zelensky also said on the 17th that "the Russian army is close to occupying Mariupol". He told Ukrainian Pravda that the situation there was very difficult, "our soldiers were blocked and the wounded could not get out". Zelensky said the Russian attack had killed "tens of thousands of people" in Mariupol and that "more than 100,000 people are still trapped there with little access to food and water." The New York Times said on the 18th that Russia estimates that 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers and about 400 foreign mercenaries are stationed at the Azov Steel Plant, which covers an area of ​​more than 11 square kilometers and is full of tunnels.

According to Russia's "Viewpoint" report on the 18th, the Chechen "Oriental Battalion" battalion commander Khodakovsky introduced the situation of Mariupol that day, saying that "there has been a large-scale surrender of the Ukrainian army recently", but there are still "about 1,500 troops." Up to 2,000 'Azov Battalion' militants remain in the Azov Steel Plant", "In fact, we may not have seen more. I have been told by civilians that before we entered the city, the 'Azov Battalion' was armed The officers greeted them and went to the shelter together. Now there are quite a few civilians who simply cannot escape." Speaking of the military operation on the 18th, Khodakovsky said: "We continue to maintain the encirclement and gradually compress it. The current attack is progressing slowly. Today our air force and artillery are involved in the operation. The day before, we asked 'Asian Sobat' personnel to surrender. But now there are hundreds of different small groups there, 2 to 5 people each hiding in different buildings, basements and underground passages. They don't even have a chance to communicate with each other. Even the Ukrainian command The order to leave was given, but it was impossible to reach them at all."

Destroy 16 military targets overnight

Major General Konashenkov, the spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense, announced on the 18th that 16 Ukrainian military facilities were destroyed by high-precision missiles in the past night, and the Russian air defense system shot down two Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter jets and the Soviet Union. -25 fighters, and 11 drones.

On the 18th, Google Maps began to provide satellite images of all Russian military and strategic facilities at maximum resolution, including various intercontinental ballistic missile silos, command posts, secret test sites, etc. Russia's strategic locations can be viewed.

According to the Associated Press, Ukrainian officials said that Russia launched a total of five missile attacks on the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on the morning of the 18th. At least four missiles hit the Lviv train station, killing at least seven people. According to Qatar's Al Jazeera report on the 18th, Russia bombed the second largest city of Kharkiv in Ukraine and the capital Kyiv the night before. The mayor of the city of Brovary in the Kyiv region, Sabergko, said that Russian missiles destroyed infrastructure east of Kyiv. The Russian Ministry of Defense also announced on the 18th that the Russian army used high-precision missiles to destroy an arms factory in Brovary.

The Kharkiv State Administrator, Sinegubov, said on social media on the 18th that the Russian army continued to shell the city violently, and he urged citizens to stay in bunkers and subway stations. However, he said that despite the attack, the Ukrainian army "pushed the Russians back to the east of the city".

NATO ammunition 'late'

Russia's "Independence" quoted a Pentagon source as saying on the 18th that Russia's offensive on Ukrainian territory is expected to "enter a new stage" in the next few days. Fierce fighting is coming, the Ukrainian army is unable to repel the Russian army because the military potential of Kyiv is "exhausted" and the supply of weapons and ammunition from NATO countries is "late". According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, as of April 17, the Ukrainian army has lost 1/10 of its regular troops. According to the Russian "Viewpoint" report on the 18th, the leader of the Donetsk militia, Basoulin, said that in Mariupol, the brigade commander of the 36th Ukrainian Independent Marine Brigade, Baranuuk, had been killed. At present, the Ukrainian army has run out of ammunition and supplies. "They surrendered in groups, some dressed in women's clothing, trying to run out, and they were captured more than 60 people every day."

On the 17th, Zelensky called on the West to speed up arms supplies to Ukraine in an interview with CNN. He said: "Equipment is needed today or tomorrow, not 2 or 3 months." Kadyrov, the chief executive of the Russian Chechnya Republic, said on social media on the 18th: "I saw Zelensky express his readiness to fight 10 Years. Not that much time, we'll get you sorted in a few days."

The United States prepared to send Ukraine an $800 million weapons aid package last week, and Russia warned in a diplomatic note to the United States that there would be "unpredictable consequences" if the United States and allies continued to send heavy weapons to Ukraine. The American "Foreign Policy" magazine said on the 17th that the West has finally begun to assist Ukraine with heavy weapons, and they have increased their efforts to transport tanks and helicopters to Ukraine. But CNN reported on the 18th that even as the latest aid has begun to arrive on the Ukrainian front, a U.S. official warned that "aid could run out within days" as the fighting intensifies in Donbass.