The unblocking of Mariupol by military means is currently impossible, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said during a briefing at the Media Center Ukraine.
She also stressed that Mariupol is currently defended by the Armed Forces, border guards, the National Guard and the National Police.
"We have to understand that this topic is very sensitive, every word can be used by the enemy and harm our defenders," she said.
At the same time, the defenders of Mariupol from the Azov Regiment are convinced that it is possible to break through to Azovstal. In an interview with Sky News, Azov Intelligence Officer Ilya Samoilenko expressed confidence that there was a military way to unblock the Azovstal plant and free the fighters.
"Itʼs possible militarily, and itʼs also possible politically. We can tell you how to do it militarily, but, of course, such operations are classified information, "he said.
Meanwhile, the commander of the 36th Marine Brigade, Serhiy Volynskyi (Volyn), once again called for rescuing the Ukrainian military from Azovstal.
"If world civilization still has common spiritual values and ideals, if people are able to feel the pain and suffering of others, if words of help force them to act, then I call for fighting for the Mariupol garrison! I call on the whole world, I call on everyone to help implement the "extraction" procedure for the Ukrainian military! " — he wrote on Facebook.
Earlier, the leader of the DNR, Pushylin, said that there were no civilians left at Azovstal, so the occupiers had their hands free.
According to official information, civilians were evacuated from the plant, but people may still be trapped. Azov fighters cannot say for sure that they evacuated everyone. There were no representatives of international organizations or authorities at the plant.
- Over the past 24hrs, Russian aircraft have made 38 combat sorties to the Azovstal plant, including 4 sorties by strategic bombers. Enemy barrel artillery and tanks continue to operate at the plant. The Russian military is trying to capture Azovstal and continues to storm it every day with the support of infantry.
- Defenders of Azovstal cannot surrender because for the Russians and Russian propaganda, it will be "a gift." The Russians will definitely kill the Azovs. At the same time, the military at Azovstal has orders to keep the defence. The fighters, in their own words, will "stand as long as necessary."