Battle of Mariupol
Mariupol on the Sea of Azov is predominantly a Russian city. After the Maidan coup in 2014, many Ukrainian nationalist from western Ukraine and the Kharkiv region were relocated to Mariupol by the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior's National Guard and terrorized the local, predominantly Russian, population. Mariupol became the hot bed of neo-Nazi activity from 2014 to 2022 and the site of some of the most intense fighting during the Russian special denazification operation.
The Russians attempted to establish humanitarian corridors for civilians with passages west toward Kyiv and Europe, or east toward Russia. However, the first reaction by the SBU was to murder the chief Ukrainian negotiator just prior to completion on the details of the agreement with the Russians. Eventually humanitarian corridors were set up, but Ukrainian forces killed many civilians attempting to evacuate. Of those refugees who did get out, most chose to go to Russia. Red Cross relief convoys were held up by Ukrainians outside the city. Zelensky ordered Ukrainian forces in the city not to surrender, and to fight to the last Ukrainian. The neo-Nazis had desecrated memorials to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War.
The city's high rise apartment complexes, built of concrete and rebar in the Soviet era, were built with bomb shelters which residents lived in throughout the battle. Azov forces took control of upper-level apartments to use as firing points on Russian and DNR forces. On March 1, 2022, Greek City Times reported: "With Russian forces besieging Mariupol, in which 120,000+ ethnic Greeks live, SKAI news spoke with a Mr Kiouranas who lives in the city and exposed that Ukrainian “fascists” are killing people for trying to leave the city. When asked by SKAI news if he planned to leave the city, Kiouranas responded “how can I leave? When you try to leave you run the risk of running into a patrol of the Ukrainian fascists, the Azov Battalion. They would kill me and are responsible for everything.”
Here, Ukrainian's most elite Nazi fighting group met a humiliating defeat.
- 1 Encirclement
- 2 Propaganda war
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Encirclement of the city was complete by March 4, 2022. On March 6 units of the People's Militia of the Donetsk Republic (DPR) entered the city. The main clashes were in the west of the city and in the east. The Azov fighters and some Ukrainian regular army units took up firing positions in civilian homes and high rise apartment blocks. Advancing Russian and Donetsk forces would take fire from the homes or apartments, identify its source, and aim tank fire or other means against the given window or floor or building.
Nothing was done by the Ukrainian government to feed or evacuate the predominantly Russian-speaking civilians. The municipality was run by Ukrainians, hand selected by the Kyiv regime, unresponsive to local needs. Shortly before combat erupted, the mayor disappeared only to reappear on Zoom in Western propaganda media to tell the world what barbarians the Russians are.
Late in the afternoon of March 6, on Pobedy Avenue, the Donetsk People's Militia clashed with Ukrainian armed nationalist units. More than 150 evacuating civilians were used as human shields by Ukrainian neo-Nazis who were hiding behind them. The Ukrainian nationalists opened fire on DPR servicemen from behind the backs of civilians. As a result of the firing by Ukrainian Nazis, several civilians were wounded and killed. The People's Militia of DPR guided the remaining group of civilians through the Vinogradnoye district from Mariupol to DPR controlled territory where they received food and medical services. Similar scenarios were repeated for weeks.
Russia informed the UN Security Council that the Mariupol maternity hospital had been used by the Azov Battalion on March 7 or March 6, 2022. On March 12, 2022, Russian T-72 tanks entered the city. On March 13, Russians began evacuation of civilian women, children, and elderly from Crimea to escape shelling from Ukrainian forces in Mariupol. By March 15 the Russians deployed Chechen fighters on the streets of Mariupol. The legendary Somali Battalion also took part in the fighting.
The denazification of Mariupol was delayed more than a week when a Tochka-U missile attack by the Kyiv regime hit the city center of Donetsk, killing 23 civilians, and DPR forces were withdrawn to deal with the site where the missile had been launched from.
Like the Battle of Stalingrad, Ukrainian forces trapped in Mariupol pleaded for relief to the Kyiv central command. And like Stalingrad, the government told them reinforcement of troops and supplies was not possible and forbad them to surrender.
On March 20, 2022, when Russian forces gave Ukrainian forces a deadline of 5:00 AM (Moscow time) (2 AM GMT) on Monday, March 21 to lay down their arms in the city. Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev of the Russian Defense Management Center guaranteed that all those who lay down their arms will be provided a safe passage out of the city. He also stated that all humanitarian corridors for civilians from Mariupol to the east and, in agreement with the Ukrainian side, to the west. Mizintsev also claimed that certain Ukrainian “bandits”, “neo-Nazis” and nationalists are engaging in carrying out “mass terror” and are going on a killing spree in the city. The Ukrainian resistors laid naval mines throughout the city.
On March 23, 2022, it was reported that what remained of the Azov Battalion was pinned down by Chechen fighters in the steel plant in the eastern portion of the city. Azov, which originally consisted of about 14,000 fighters, was whittled down to about 6,000. They were cut off from NATO resupply of weapons and ammunition, without water, food, fuel or electricity. Many were either killed in Mariupol, or escaped posing as civilians through humanitarian corridors. Some dressed as women to escape. Azov fighters, like their Nazi SS forebearers, are all tattooed and easily identifiable when captured. The International Red Cross agreed to deliver humanitarian relief and investigate Ukrainian war crimes, but according to reports was held up by Ukrainian attacks on Red Cross supply trains.
On April 8, the Russians took control of the port of Mariupol. All hostages, including foreigners, were released. During the Ukrainians retreat from the port they had burnt all the grainery storage facilities. The Ukrainians had mined the harbor. The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that radio intercepts showed a significant number of foreign mercenaries carried out communications in six other European languages. It was estimated there were at least about 100 foreign fighters. The ministry spokesman stressed that the forces trapped in Mariupol are not the celebrated "defenders of so-called European values, but foreign mercenaries, who have come here to kill Slavs for American dollars while hiding behind a human shield of civilians."
On April 16, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the liberation of residential areas and summarized the situation in Mariupol:
|"The entire urban area of Mariupol is completely cleared of militants of the Nazi formation "Azov", foreign mercenaries and Ukrainian troops. The remnants of the Ukrainian group are currently completely blocked on the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant. Their only chance to save their lives is to voluntarily lay down their arms and surrender.
Ukrainian use of civilian human shields
According to the testimony of civilian survivors, Azov Nazis shot civilians attempting to flee the city. One civilian survivor testified that Ukrainian forces shot up whole "busloads" of fleeing civilians. In a YouTube broadcast from AZOV Media, Ukrainian Nazis admitted they use civilians as human shields:.
|"In total, as of this hour, over the past day, the irrevocable losses of horde barbarians reached up to 50 people of infantry, 2 tanks, 2 armored personnel carriers, 1 MTLB and one armored personnel carrier they left on the battlefield. Several trucks were also destroyed. The land component of the enemy horde suffers heavy losses. These savages distribute white armbands to civilians, thereby making it harder for our military to work. But believe me, orcas, we understand where you are and where are the civilians!" |
In the so-called 'Bucha massacre,' all the dead bodies, or at least those bodies which were not crisis actors, had white armbands.
Mariupol residents accused Americans of training Azov fighters to fight near houses in residential areas causing interminable suffering and damage. Survivors also testified that AZOV went about the city in civilian dress without uniforms.
On the morning of March 30, 2022 Ukrainian troops told residents to go to Mariupol school #37 and there they would be safe; in the evening the school was shelled and destroyed.
By April 10, 2022, virtually all the civilian residential neighborhoods had been cleared and all the fighting was confined within the industrial zone.
On April 18, 2022, the Azov Battalion began broadcasting videos of family members of Azov fighters in the Azovstal bunker. Reports On April 19, one hundred forty civilian were liberated from Azovstal. These were not the civilians who were allegedly held hostage, but people who lived near the facility. On April 30, 2022, twenty-five civilians including 6 children escaped Azovstal through humanitarian corridors provided by the Russians.
Mariupol Drama theater
About 500 civilians were herded into the Mariupol Drama Theater by Ukrainian forces and away from their homes and apartments where bomb shelters existed in the basement with the promise that the theater was being used as a pick-up point for evacuation to safety by bus. Once inside, the theater exploded from a bomb hidden in its lower levels, killing about 350 civilians. Ukrainian and Western propaganda tried to blame the explosion on the Russian armed forces, however eyewitness survivors attest to the mass murders being committed by the Zelensky regime.
The Drama Theater in Mariupol was being used as an ammunition storage dump by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Investigators established the deaths were caused by an explosion from within the building, and not from an outside aerial bombing or artillery attack. The night of the explosion, there was no Russian aerial bombing or artillery shelling.
US biological labs in Mariupol
Evidence of emergency destruction of documents confirming work with the US military establishment in two biolaboratories in Mariupol was obtained. A preliminary analysis of extant documentation indicated the use of Mariupol as a regional center for cholera pathogen collection and certification. The selected strains were sent to the Public Health Centre in Kyiv, which was responsible for the onward shipment of biomaterials to the United States. These activities were carried out since 2014, as evidenced by the transfer of strains.
An act of destruction of the pathogen collection dated February 25, 2022, according to which cholera, tularemia and anthrax pathogens were handled there, was found in the sanitary and epidemiological laboratory.
Part of the collection of the veterinary laboratory was not destroyed in a hurry. The presence in the collection of pathogens that are uncharacteristic of veterinary medicine, such as typhoid, paratyphoid fever and gas gangrene, is a cause for concern. This could indicate the laboratory's misuse and involvement in a military biological program.
Ironically, the Azovstal steel plant was occupied by the Germans during World War II as a key point of operations, and became the last holdout for Azov Nazis during the Battle of Mariupol.
By March 18, 2022, about 6,000 members of the Azov Battalion continued resisting a force of about 12,000 Russians in an 11 square kilometer area in three steel plants, Azovstal, Ilyich [Steel and Iron Works] and Azovmash, in an industrial zone of eastern Mariupol. Beneath the Azovstal steel plant, a massive, well-fortified underground complex with 6 levels of bunkers extending 90 meters down, was built in Soviet times with 24 kilometers of tunnels. A tunnel running beneath the Kalmius River connects Azovstal to the Ilyich plant. On March 26, 2022, Russian sources reported preparations for the possible use of the TOS-1 (Solntsepek or sunbake) rocket launchers on Azovstal. The TOS-1 rocket launchers mounted on a T-72 tank chassis are the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the Russian arsenal, capable of firing a thermobaric warhead. Thermobarics, or "bunker busters" as it's known in the West, can produce shockwaves to destroy the tunnels and bunkers.
On April 1, 2022, WarGonzo reported on his YouTube channel that DPR and Russian forces moved against Azovstal from multiple directions at once, including amphibious landings, and had entered the massive complex.
On April 10, 2022, German reports surfaced that the underground Azovstal bunker complex contained a NATO command center known as a PIT-404 facility as well as a biolab operated by Metabiota. About 240 NATO personnel were present and as well as elements of the French Foreign Legion. The report identified officers from United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Poland, Turkiye, and Greece present. Other sources indicated that Azovstal was used a secret prison complex where torture and other horrific human rights abuses took place at the hands of the Nazi-dominated Ukrainian Security Services where people were "disappeared" to. Since the Maidan regime took power, over 1,000 people have been "disappeared" in the Donbas.
On the night of the April 10, the 36th Navy Brigade posted on Facebook [Google translation, edited]:
|"we were once handed 50 122 guns, 20 min a little [NLAWS] and [S]tarlink Elon Musk - spybo Elon, [it] had a lot of air strikes and still works. We have not been handed over any more. Without the possibility of defending [our]selves, the opponent gradually pushed us to the Azovmash plant, surrounded [by] fire and now is trying to destroy us. There was an option to bring us reserves to strengthen and boost the defense. There were options for the brigade to make a breakthrough and join their troops. We reported this to OTU East and they started planning the operation. Sodol, Delatitsky tried to do something, but their senior headquarters were closed. We reported about it in the OOS they said hold on we are working, promised a helicopter that never flew. We talked to the commander in chief who promised to unblock. We talked with a Garantee who guaranteed us either a political or military solution of the situation. For more than a month, the Marines fought without refilling ammunition, without food, without water, almost a lacquer from the puddle and died in packs. The mountain of wounded makes up almost half of the crew. Those who have unbroken limbs and can walk, return in order. Infantry all died... Gradually we are coming to an end. Wise generals advise taking ammunition from your enemy. Probably not extinct these Sava parquettes, so many people will die for them in vain. There were chances. There were opportunities, but due to the silliness, they were not implemented. No one wants to communicate with us anymore because we are written [off]. Today will probably be an extreme fight since there is no BC left. Next up into the palm of the hand. Further is death for some, [and] captivity for some.
Dear Ukrainian people. I don't know what's next, but I really ask you to remember the Marines with a kind word and no matter how they develop further, do not talk badly about the Marines. They did everything possible and impossible. For we are FAITHFUL FOREVER! 11.04.2022…
The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that on April 11 remnants of Ukrainian troops surrounded in the factory made an unsuccessful attempt to breakout at night. A group of about a hundred Ukrainian soldiers in armored vehicles tried to fight their way out of the plant and leave the city in a northern direction. Artillery and air strikes foiled this breakthrough attempt. Three Ukrainian tanks, five infantry fighting vehicles, seven vehicles and up to 50 personnel were destroyed. Another 42 Ukrainian servicemen voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered. The Saker reported Ukrainian forces took 30-50 civilian vehicles plus some remaining light armor and put ‘Z’ signs on them to try and trick Russian troops, then tried to storm out of Mariupol towards the north as the high command in Kyiv promised them support if they can just make it towards Zaporizhzhia oblast. Then, separate from that group, another large group of Marines surrendered. WarGonzo reported:
|"there were about 1,500 neo-Nazis (Azov militants and AFU fighters) at the Ilyich plant. Of these, about 800 were going to go for a breakthrough in the first column, the rest had to go out along the corridor cut by them.
The column consisted of about 120 pieces of equipment, including automobiles. At the head was a tank, 2 Gvozdika self-propelled guns and up to 10 infantry fighting vehicles, as well as MTLBs, armored cars and trucks. More than 100 Ukrainian marines surrendered. Including the political officer of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
More than half of those who were going to break through retreated back to the plant. Several dozen were destroyed by artillery strikes of the NM DPR. Up to 10 groups of 3-4 people were scattered and tried to seep through the environment. The search and elimination operation continues. Hence the data on the second smaller breakthrough. We are talking about these wandering groups, which the special forces and fighters at posts enter into battle with if they are detected. Hence, a more thorough check of the car on the Volnovakha-Mariupol highway. So no panic.”
The Ilyich factory was confirmed captured on April 16, 2022. More POWs were taken in the Illych steel plant alone than all of Russian and LPR/DPR prisoners in Ukrainian hands combined. A lot of AFU equipment was recovered in the factory, including American Hummers. Under the Ottawa Convention, MON-50 and MON-90 anti-personnel mines are banned. Kyiv joined the Ottawa Convention in 1999 and claimed to have destroyed all such devices. Stocks of the illegal devices, and trip wires set up within the Ilyich factory, were discovered.
The Russian Defense Ministry called a ceasefire for 6:00 AM, Easter Sunday morning on April 17, appealing to the remaining holdouts in the Azovstal to lay down their arms and surrender, promising them life and safety. The offer went to AFU, nationalists, NATO and foreign mercenaries. Zelensky vowed the Nazis would fight to the end.
On April 18, 2022, WarGonzo reported that RF forces had captured northern portions of the Azovstal factory. U.S. Army documents were found in captured portions of the previously nazi-occupied complex.
In late April 2022, the acting commander of what remained of Ukraine's 36th Marine Brigade posted a video, addressing the Kyiv leadership in perfect unaccented Russian, asking for help to evacuate.
By May 5, 2022, after the evacuation of more than 120 civilians, fighting resumed. Azov militants opened fire hoping to find a weak point in the encirclement. Russian forces returned artillery fire. The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that there still could be more than 200 civilians, including women, children and the elderly held in the basements. The Azov militants offered to exchange the civilians for food and medicines. Russians commanders said,
|“We have to maintain contacts with the Azov Nazis who are holed up there and representatives of the SBU in order to save the civilians who remained there. During the negotiations, they offered us to exchange civilian hostages for food and medicine. The indicated terms of the deal are fifteen hostages for a ton of food, as well as medicines. They warned that they would not let anyone else go to Ukraine — now they will only exchange them."|
A wife of an Azov fighter, who once appeared armed in uniform on social media, got all dolled up to visit Pope Francis and plead for his assistance in freeing the Azovstal fighters.
Celebrated American neo-Nazi mercenary Kent "Boneface" McClellan is said to have survived and been evacuated from Azovstal by the Red Cross.
NATO officers in Azovstal
On March 28, 2022, five helicopters took off from Nikolaev, flew 7 meters above the waves and landed in Mariupol. Their mission was to evacuate fighters from Azovstal. After they took off, two helicopters were shot down, but another three got away, with a possible third helicopter ditching in the waters off the coast. Two French officers of the main department of external security of the Ministry of Defense of the French Republic (DGSE) were reportedly on board. The head of French military intelligence was fired days latter.
On April 5, two more helicopters were shot down over the Sea of Azov which was attempting to reach Azovstal. An unconfirmed report posted on social media accredited to journalist German Vladimirov read, “NATO officers from France, Germany, Britain and “neutral” Sweden got stuck at Azovstal in Mariupol. Right now they are getting in touch with the Russian troops with a request to help them leave, to organize a corridor for the exit." The reports about NATO commanders taking shelter with Azov militants in Mariupol may explain why NATO member states especially France and Turkiye insist on carrying out a humanitarian mission in Mariupol, but only with the participation of their military.
On April 8, 2022 a third attempt to reach Azovstal was made by the Ukrainian dry cargo ship Apache, assigned to the Maltese port of Valetta, under the Maltese flag. The effort was repelled.
On April 9, 2022, Russian State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov confirmed to Russian media that NATO combatants from France, Germany, Britain, and 'neutral' Sweden were trapped in Azovstal. The total amount of foreign fighters was estimated at 100. According to one telling of events:
|"From numerous published videos of interrogations of captured members of the Azov regiment and nationalist battalions, it follows that initially there were 20-25 thousand soldiers and officers in Mariupol. There are now about 2,000 left, plus about 200 NATO officers and foreign instructors. All of them are concentrated in the underground concrete premises of Azovstal. There is a whole city under open-hearth furnaces several floors deep and numerous underground passages, where even railway cars used to go.
The results of the analysis of various information.
French President Emmanuel Macron has developed an incredibly active peacekeeping activity, with elements of "shuttle diplomacy" between Kiev and Moscow, for which he was subjected to harsh criticism from people uninitiated in the problems. The fact is that the territory of Ukraine was divided into peculiar zones of responsibility of NATO countries. And in Mariupol there was a large intelligence center of the French Armed Forces, acting in the interests of the alliance and the Kiev regime. At some points, its staff reached hundreds of specialists, but by the time the battle for the city began, there were 53 officers of the French military intelligence DGSE. Why they didn't leave sooner is unknown. It is possible that they decided to continue collecting information to the last. However, when the last opportunity for evacuation came, they could not leave, because the Azov militants with whom the French interacted simply did not let them out. Seeing what was going on, the Nazis decided to use them as a guarantee that they themselves would be pulled out of the boiler.
In addition to the French, there is a group of mercenaries in Mariupol - former and current officers from Canada, Sweden and the UK, as well as a detachment of Syrian Turkomans with extensive experience in urban combat in Syria. The total number of these volunteers is not precisely established, among them there may be career intelligence officers from the Canadian CSIS, the Swedish Must and the British MI-6, who like to use the status of a mercenary as a cover. In general, they, too, were in a trap. In addition, judging by how active Greek diplomats were in this direction, it can be assumed that the military from this country could not have done without. Moreover, Zelensky even showed two Greek mercenaries to the Greek parliament.
In order to pull out his military, Macron began to call the Kremlin by phone, to which he received assurances that the Russian troops, if Paris met a number of conditions (the contents of which were not disclosed by the French), were ready to give a corridor. But in order to resolve the issue with Azov, which does not let foreigners out, one must talk with Zelensky.
But Zelensky does not control the Nazis of Azov, he controls little at all, and is even interested in seeing the French “burned” in Mariupol (which would deprive Paris of room for maneuver and, possibly, contribute to an increase in the confrontation between the EU and Russia). In any case, he was unable or unwilling to help his French colleague.
On March 18, Chancellor Scholz came to help Macron, and on March 20, with the consent of Moscow, a rescue team was sent to Mariupol from officers of the German military intelligence BND. But the “Azov”, believing that this was the only hope for them to escape from the surrounded city, prompting Kyiv to de-blockade it, they turned the Germans into hostages, despite guarantees from the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the representative office of the Azov regiment located in Kyiv.
As a result, not only Macron, but also Scholz began to call Vladimir Putin on the phone. The Russian side (in exchange for a number of certain concessions from Berlin and Paris) agreed to release everyone - both intelligence officers and Azov militants and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but after disarmament and some verification measures in relation to everyone leaving the city. And this proposal was rejected by the Ukrainian side.
After that, the furious Macron on March 30 fired the head of French military intelligence, Eric Vido. This was followed by attempts to evacuate the French and Germans with the help of helicopters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which were unsuccessful. Helicopters were shot down by anti-aircraft crews of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the DPR. It is likely that the evacuation agreements with the Kremlin included mandatory, albeit tacit, contact between the evacuees and their Russian counterparts, and an attempt to circumvent this condition caused Russian dissatisfaction, expressed in five downed helicopters. In one of those helicopters that fell into the sea, there were supposedly two Frenchmen. Obviously, "Azov" continued to hold them, and two were released so that they could persuade them to release their comrades. Common terrorist practice. According to radio interception, 21 Frenchmen died on the territory of Azovstal. .
The penultimate attempt to pull out the foreigners was made by the Turks. Erdogan requested a sea evacuation from Mariupol. The Russians agreed, but with a reservation - from the port of Berdyansk. That is, the meeting of Western intelligence officers with Russian colleagues was still a prerequisite. But this attempt also failed.
The last attempt was on April 9th. The official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said during a briefing:
The cargo ship did not respond to the radio requests of the Russian border ships and even ignored the warning fire on the course. As a result, artillery fire was opened on the Apache, a fire broke out at the stern of the ship, which was eliminated by the crew, the ship went into a drift, obeyed the requirements of the border guards and was towed to the Russian port of Yeysk.
Now all living (if there are still any) foreign intelligence officers and military specialists held in Mariupol are concentrated at Azovstal to serve as human shields for the Nazis. Since the intelligence officers of the NATO countries and Sweden are of great operational interest to the Russian special services, and the very fact of their capture can have a huge propaganda effect, as well as become a serious trump card for pressure on the Western countries, efforts were made to take them alive.
This circumstance greatly hampered the assault on Azovstal and did not allow powerful bombing and artillery strikes against the fortifications of the militants on the territory of Azovstal. But judging by the fact that now the intensity of the work of artillery and aviation has seriously increased, either information has appeared that the foreigners were liquidated by the “Azov” in order to avoid their detention by Russian special services, or, in order not to put the lives of our soldiers at unnecessary risk, they simply waved their hand at them.
Paris urges the Russian leadership not to make public the fact that French intelligence officers are in Mariupol. Macron has an election, and the scandal that erupted could negatively affect his rating and the possibility of re-election.
Some reports claimed, even after President Putin rescinded the order to storm the catacombs, that up to 50 French NATO office were stilling hiding out with the Nazis, and the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that up to 400 mercenary fighters recruited by Western governments were among the Nazis.
On May 4, 2022, it was reported that Canadian Lieutenant General Trevor Cadier was arrested while trying to escape through a sewer from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, Cadieux is currently the highest-ranking foreign military officer among those detained in Ukraine, with the media giving him the nickname “mercenary general.” In addition, there is information that the general was in charge of Biological Laboratory No. 1, where they allegedly worked with deadly viruses. Cadieux is being held at the Lubyanka in Moscow where he will stand trial. The surrender of Ukrainian military blocked at Azovstal began on May 16, 2022. According to unconfirmed reports, U.S. General Eric Olson, British Lieutenant Colonel John Bailey, and four other instructors from NATO countries walked out of the facility and surrendered according to Southfront.
After liberation, a non-refrigerator morgue with a crematorium was found in the Azovstal bunker. Charred bits of American passports were also found.
On April 21, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed Gen. Sergey Shoigu to halt the storming of Azovstal, apparently shifting to a strategy of starving out the encircled remaining holdouts. It was thought that about 1,400 Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries, along with dozens of NATO officers, civilian families of the fighters and possibly some civilian hostages were still holed up in the bunkers. The Azov regiment apparently had stockpiled enough food and drinking for a lengthy holdout. The Russians did not cut internet access. More than 142,000 civilians had been evacuated from the city. Gen Shoigu declared victory in the battle. An estimated 9,000-10,000 Ukrainian forces and mercenaries had been killed in the battle.
As of May 9, 2022, roughly 1,000 people, civilian and military, were reported to have been evacuated from Azovstal under the plan negotiated by UN General Secretary António Guterres and evacuations ended, leaving about 500 deadenders in the bunkers below. Humanitarian corridors were closed. RT reported over 300 more Azovstal holdouts surrendered on May 15.
On May 16, 2022, all fighting within the confines of the massive Azovstal steel plant came to an end when the remaining Azov fighters asked to surrender. They had run out of food a week earlier. With help from Russian soldiers, the Azov fighters first had to de-mine booby traps that had been set up leading from the exit. Mass unconditional surrenders began, taking 3 full days to process. 55 seriously wounded (ambulatory) were taken immediately east to the Novoazovsk hospital in the Donetsk Republic Another 221 people the first day were sent north to the Elenovka POW camp in the Donetsk Republic. Searches, screenings, and preliminary interrogations to look for Nazis were conducted. A tattoo can make the difference between the status of regular POW and accused war criminal, especially if it's a swastika or other Nazi insignia. Russian war correspondent Dmitry Steshin who was at the surrender for its entirety, recorded this:
|"Steshin is accompanied by a DPR soldier named Vlad, who hails from Poltava. They have been inseparable for the past 3 months on the road. Vlad was filled with hatred against these Ukrainian Nazis, and wanted revenge. But now something is happening to him: At the sight of the captives, his hatred and anger start to melt away, and he becomes calmer. Steshin philosophizes about the “Russian soul”, and how this effect works: At the sight of a conquered enemy, the Russian rage wilts, then compassion becomes more dominant within the psyche. To be sure, these Nazis will be put on trial for their crimes. But it is not the Russian way to carry out battlefield justice."|
In Elenovka, interrogation of Ukrainian prisoners of war, some of whom have open criminal cases (e.g., for abuse/torture or killing of civilians, or of rebel captives) for years in Russia. Among the Ukrainian military who surrendered, 144 people are fighters of the Interior Ministry's National Guard, of which the Azov Battalion is part. The Kremlin reportedly refused to exchange Nazi members of the Azov regiment as they committed numerous war crimes. Membership in a terrorist organization is itself a criminal charge. There is a possibility that after a trial verdict, some Azov militants may be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war. At the same time, those convicted of murder and torture will not be subject to exchange. In turn, the ordinary servicemen of the National Guard, the Border Guard Service and regular units of the AFU, who are accused of war crimes, are considered regular POWs. The exchange of other servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine could be negotiated. The Russian state Duma, however immediately began debate on a bill forbidding the exchange of any POWs captured at Azovstal for fear of a demoralizing effect on the public and soldiers.
Steshin noted the prevailing attitude among the captive Ukrainian soldiers: "One conclusion they are all reaching is this: The Kiev regime has no use for them any more." The psychotic, delusional Presidential adviser to Zelensky, Mykhailo Podoliak, posted on Twitter:
|"83 days of Mariupol defense will go down in history as the Thermopylae of the XXI century. “Azovstal” defenders ruined 🇷🇺’s plan to capture the east of 🇺🇦, took a hit on themselves and proved the real "combat capability" of 🇷🇺… This completely changed the course of the war."|
Steshin reported on a conversation between Vlad and some Azovites:
|"Nazar is the only person in the whole group of captives who speaks in pure Ukrainian dialect. He is from Lvov. He overhears Steshin chatting with Vlad and philosophizing, how this all came about. Nazar butts into the conversation and says, in Ukrainian dialect: “People were pitted against people.” Ukrainian Dmytro objects to this: He says he is from Mariupol, and he says that people were getting used to the new life (under Maidan rules). Vlad objects angrily: “I am from Poltava, I had to leave my home in 2014, because I understood that it was impossible to live under the new rules. We all spoke Russian, and they started to forbid the Russian language, they passed a lot of laws…”
Dmytro exhales: “Yeah…” But then quickly collects himself and dives into the political debate: “All the same, these were our internal, Ukrainian affairs. Why did Russia have to stick its nose in?”
Vlad retorts angrily: “You wanted them to just kill us all, with nobody intervening? You have Europe and the U.S. behind you, so we have Russia behind us. Does that seem normal to you? Is it normal to waste your youth fighting in a war?”
Dmytro: “I have also been fighting since 2014. I also wasted my youth in this.”
Vlad [getting curious]: “Really? Whereabouts were you fighting?”
Steshin leaves these two soldiers to their reminiscing, noting that they kept up their conversation for at least an hour.
Steshin and Vlad collect their gear and leave the scene. Vlad reveals, surprisingly, “You know. when this war is over, I would be happy to go out with Dmytro and have a drink with him.”
“You forgive them?”
“No. But I like him. We had a lot of things to talk about.”
“What about him do you like?”
“Well, he was the only one of them who didn’t pretend to be a cook. He was honest with me. He is a worthy adversary.”
On May 18, 2022, the total number of surrenders rose to 959. It was previously thought to be about 1,700 holdouts until the end. DPR leader Denis Pushilin told journalists, “A court will rule on the fate of Ukrainian militants who surrendered at Mariupol’s Azovstal plant…As for war criminals and those who are nationalists, if they laid down their arms their fate should be decided by the court. Regardless of the emotions of some people, I heard various opinions, if an adversary laid down the arms, the future fate is decided by the court. If this is a Nazi criminal, then by a court martial"
The total number of unconditional surrenders since Monday, May 16, 2022, cascaded to 2,439 by May 20, more captures than were taken in the two major battles of Ilovaisk and Debaltseve combined in 2014 and 2015 during the earlier Donbas war. This figure included at least 717 Azov fighters. People who swore to fight Russians until the last drop of blood surrendered. Kyiv tried to whitewash that embarrassment. Azov Regiment commander Lt. Colonel Denys Prokopenko (call sign "Radish") surrendered and was transported to Russia to face a denazification Tribunal in an armored vehicle for fear of reprisals against the accused by the civilian population of Mariupol.
In sum, 2,511 Azoz personnel were captured throughout the duration of the fighting in Mariupol. Individually, all were carrying large amounts of money - dollars, euros, Ukrainian hryvnia, and gold. All faced criminal prosecution and not military justice. Reports in early June 2022 indicated that Azov Nazis had been transferred to the Yelenovskaya penal colony in the DPR.
Commenting on the defeat, Jacob Dreizen said:
|"Now, everyone understands, if you are surrounded by Russia, you have two options: Surrender. Or death. That’s it. There will be no de-blockade, the Pope won’t ride to the rescue, and Russia doesn’t care what its NATO enemies think. This is a huge psychological shift, comparable to what happened to the Germans after Stalingrad.
After Stalingrad, the Germans, if faced with an imminent risk of encirclement, with very few exceptions, ran the hell away (or tried to.) And, the Ukrainian army, despite all the “Iron Cross” emblems on its hardware, is no Wehrmacht. This bodes ill for the Ukraine’s attempt to hold and defend the Severodonetsk-Lisichansk agglomeration in northern Lugansk—a hard-core Russian loyalist area, and likely the next big “cauldron.” Those two cities combined, are roughly half the size of Mariupol. Russian and Lugansk/Donetsk forces moving in on them, will be more numerous, and (by now) much more experienced than the forces that took Mariupol."
While some of the AFU regulars may be released once the conflict is declared over, which may take years given the United States declared intention to fund sabotage activity and a partisan insurgency after the AFU surrenders and the country is fully "demilitarized," Azov Nazis are looking at "busting rocks north of the Arctic Circle until the year 2040 or 2050," in the words of Jacob Dreizen.
On July 29, 2022 Reuters reported the prisoner-of-war camp at Elenovka was hit by a U.S.-built HIMAR, causing the deaths of 40 prisoners and 13 guards and prison employees. At least one hundred other prisoners were injured. Sources reported that captured Ukrainian prisoners-of-war were giving up much critical information on U.S./Ukraine/NATO operations and illegal weapon's transfers, including arms to Kurdish terrorists in Syria to be used against NATO member Turkiye. Ukraine forces on the battlefield attempting to surrender have been documented to have been executed by Ukrainian commanders. A bill was introduced into the Ukrainian parliament granting legal authority to Ukrainian commanders to execute Ukrainian soldiers who wanted to surrender. Morale was reported to have fallen in recent weeks among Azov Battalion detainees as they realized the Kyiv regime was not negotiating for their exchange for Russian POWs.
By May 25, 2022 the Mariupol sea port had been reopened. 134 buildings were examined for weapons and over 12,000 explosive objects, many supplied by NATO, were found. Ukraine mined its own harbors, blocking the export of their own grain. Sappers (bomb disposal experts) inspected more than 50 km of the Azov Sea coast and 300 different munitions were defused. The Russian Defense Ministry opened the first humanitarian corridor for foreign ships from Mariupol. In a telephone conversation with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, a neutral intermediary, Tass reported that President Putin said Ukraine should de-mine its ports to ensure free passage of the blocked ships as soon as possible.
A DPR soldier who was tortured in captivity was exchanged and met his Nazi torturer who was captured in Azovstal. The Nazi begged for forgiveness in tears.
- See also: Ukrainian propaganda war
Maternity hospital bombing
In April 2022 the ‘maternity ward girl’ come forward. Named Marianne, it turns out she's from the Donbass and has completely refuted Ukrainian propaganda. She stated in her interview that not only was the maternity not “bombed” by any planes like the fake news contends, but she recounts how the Ukrainian military stormed the maternity ward, stole all the patients’ food even after she told them they were for the pregnant women, didn't tell anyone of any attacks and after the “attack”, conveniently the Ukrainian soldiers appeared only minutes later already towing western photojournalists, basically used her as a “prop” despite her crying and repeatedly telling them to stop taking photos. It apparently was a rehearsed psyop event where the photographers were already waiting in the wings for the aftermath, and the pregnant showpiece was perfectly utilized as an object of orchestrated propaganda.
Marianne said that there was no air raid, which was independently confirmed. They said it was a shell of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The woman said that after the start of the Russian special operation, she was unable to leave Mariupol – the Ukrainian authorities did not let people out. The maternity hospital was occupied by the fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: “The military did not help in any way, they came one day and said: “Give me food.” They are told: “This is all for pregnant women.” And they took our food.” Marianne confirmed that reporters showed up at the scene immediately after the explosion. When everyone was evacuated, she noticed that she was being filmed and asked to stop. The journalist left only after the men chased him away.”
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an intergovernmental organisation and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force on April 29, 1997. The organisation promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction. Verification consists both of evaluation of declarations by member states and onsite inspections. The OPCW, with its 193 member states, is based in The Hague, Netherlands and oversees the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons. The organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.
According to Jacques Baud, a former high-ranking NATO and UN official, on January 18, 2022, Donbas defense units captured Polish speaking saboteurs equipped with Western equipment and who were seeking to create chemical incidents in Horlivka.
Every indication by the Americans early on was for preparation of another false flag chemical weapons attack. By early April, it appeared it would possibly occur in Kharkiv, Kyiv, or Poland. On April 6, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defense accused Ukraine of preparing a false flag chemical weapons attack with chlorine in Pervomaiskyi, in the Kharkiv region. In a story published by NBC News on April 6, 20222 about the U.S. intelligence community's use of fake news in its propaganda war against Russia entitled, In a break with the past, U.S. is using intel to fight an info war with Russia, even when the intel isn't rock solid, the article included this statement:
|"three U.S. officials told NBC News this week there is no evidence Russia has brought any chemical weapons near Ukraine."|
On April 11, 2022, Western-backed Nazi remnants hopelessly trapped in the Azovstal steel plant broadcast details of an alleged chemical weapons attack. This 'red line' that Russophobic hardliners in the West vowed would bring about NATO intervention was largely ignored by Western media and governments.
- From Google Translate
- MARIUPOL THEATER DRAMA (ENG SUBS).
- U.S. ARMY DOCUMENTS FOUND IN AZOV BASE
- «Командира» нацистов вывезли с «Азовстали» в специальном бронеавтомобиле
- Путин поучаствовал в уничтожении последнего в России килограмма химоружия.
- OPCW Director-General Commends Major Milestone as Russia Completes Destruction of Chemical Weapons Stockpile under OPCW Verification.
- UK Delegation to the OPCW.
- 2014 Mariupol. Crimes of the Ukrainian regime . The war in Ukraine has been going on for 8 years. YouTube.
- EXCLUSIVE! AZOV Battalion Mariupol Headquarters Walkthrough!, John Mark Dougan, May 19, 2022. YouTube.
- INTERVIEW WITH AFU COMMANDER VOLYNA TAKEN FROM AZOVSTAL
- Mariupol: A Homecoming, DIG DEEP DOCUMENTARY, June 13, 2022. YouTube
- "Azov's Last Stand" | July 2022 | Mariupol, Donbass | Documentary with English subtitles
- Raw critical footage of the liberation of Mariupol 4K Actions A-Z [Full Documentary
- At the Edge of the Abyss (FRAGMENTS OF THE FILM). - Here and now, you will see the war as it really is, and understand why the people of Mariupol were waiting for the Russians to come.
- Azovstal Documentary, OAN Archive
- Donbass: I'm Alive! | Mariupol survivors of Ukrainian attacks find shelter
- Captured SBU documents from Mariupol
- Mariupol: Map of Azov War Crimes.