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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Kremlin Slams US Statement About Situation in Mariupol

Sputnik News

Tim Korso

Previously, the US Department of State spokesman claimed that Russia had not seized Mariupol despite Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu stating the opposite. Russian forces took control over all of the city's regions with the exception of Azovstal plant, where remnants of Ukrainian forces are besieged.

The US Department of State remarks about the situation in Mariupol hold not a single grain of truth, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov says.

"We suggest everyone give greater credence to the information that was provided yesterday by the Ministry of Defence reported by Defence Minister [Sergey] Shoigu at a meeting with President [Vladimir] Putin", Peskov said.

Earlier, Department of State spokesman Ned Price said that so far as the US understood, Ukraine still holds Mariupol despite the Kremlin having reported that it had seized control of the city.

"We understand that Ukraine's forces continue to hold their ground and there is every reason to believe that President Putin and his defence minister's show for the media that we saw in recent hours is even yet more disinformation from their well-worn playbook", Price said.

Russia's Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to Putin that, the Azovstal steel plant excepted, all parts of the city have been liberated from the Ukrainian troops' presence. Putin in turn ordered to suspend the storming of the well-fortified plant fitted with an extensive underground tunnel system, where the remnants of Ukrainian troops are holed up.

The president elaborated that storming it will be difficult and will cost the lives of Russian servicemen, and suggested continuing the siege of the plant instead. In the preceding weeks, Russia called on the Ukrainian troops at the plant to surrender or at least release the civilians hiding in the Azovstal steel plant tunnels. The Ukrainian forces, however, refused to leave the plant unless they are allowed to evacuate to Ukraine-held territory, keep their injured, and their weaponry.

Only a handful of civilians managed to leave the Azovstal plant in recent days. Authorities of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Russia accused the remnants of the Azov nationalist battalions who are entrenched in the plant, of hindering the evacuation of the civilians.

© Sputnik

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