Putin orders blockade of Azovstal plant in Mariupol: local media
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 10:12, April 22, 2022
MOSCOW, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered a blockade of the Azovstal plant in the port city of Mariupol instead of storming it, local media reported.
The order was given after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that the Russian military had controlled Mariupol apart from the plant where Ukrainian servicemen were still holed up, said the report.
Putin said plans to storm the plant were "inappropriate" during a meeting with Shoigu, preferring a blockade instead, according to the Kremlin.
"We must always think about preserving the lives and health of our soldiers and officers," Putin said, adding that the industrial area should nonetheless be blocked off entirely "so a single fly doesn't pass through."
Shoigu said more than 2,000 militants are currently blocked inside the plant, adding that the operation there would be completed within three or four days.
"We once again offer everyone who has not yet laid down their arms to do so," Putin said, adding that those soldiers who do so would be spared and receive necessary medical attention.
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