Reporter Yang Peiqi/Comprehensive Report
▲Ukrainian President Zelensky said for the first time the real reason why he abandoned the Azov Steel Plant. He has not mentioned the word “surrender” so far. (Photo/Retrieved from Zelensky’s official Twitter)
The Ukrainian defenders in the Azovstal steel plant have been standing for nearly 3 months. On the 86th day, the commander of the Azov Battalion (AZOV) officially announced that the top commander ordered them to “stop fighting”. Therefore, the Russian Ministry of Defense on the 21st It was announced that the last group of defenders, totaling 531, had completely withdrawn. Many Ukrainian people are quite reluctant to give up. Although it is a decision to save lives, why can’t they continue to defend it after 86 days. For the first time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the media the real reason why he had to give up.
After 86 days of defending the Azov Steel Plant, the last 531 guards walked out of the underground bunker, were searched by the Russian army, boarded an ambulance and a bus, and then went to the Russian army to arrange for them to be placed in the area controlled by the pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. Announcing the fall, the Ukrainian people and netizens from all over the world who have been watching the battle in the steel plant for 86 days and who have used various methods to support it are quite heartbroken.
▲The last 531 defenders of the Azov Steel Plant were all evacuated under the leadership of the Azov Battalion Commander (1st from the left), which also announced the official fall of the Azov Steel Plant. (Photo / Retrieved from Telegram of the Russian Ministry of Defense)
The citizens of Mariupol, in particular, felt even more sad and helpless about the sacrifice of the defenders. Some citizens wrote on the Internet, “The intention of the Azov Steel Plant is finally over. The wall of the steel plant is protected as much as possible. We lost our heroes, but heroes can’t be there forever. I believe they will never encounter such hell again in their future lives. Thanks to all those who defended our city, the heroes who died will remain in memory forever.”
In fact, both the citizens of Malibo and the Ukrainian people want to ask what is the reason for abandoning the Azov Steel Plant. In this regard, President Zelensky told the media interviewed after the last group of defenders left the steel plant on the 21st that in the past 86 days, a large number of pilots have been killed in order to fly to the Azov steel plant to deliver food, water and medicine. % did not come back”, let alone bring back the remains of fallen soldiers.
▲Before getting on the bus, everyone must wait in line for luggage inspection and body search. (Photo / Retrieved from Telegram of the Russian Ministry of Defense)
The main reason is that Russia’s continuously intensifying bombing and its air defense system have made it impossible to fly over the Azov Steel Plant, but all the necessities of life in the steel plant have to be transported by air. “The pilots have been working for several weeks, please imagine their mood, go, 90% chance of not coming back, we lost many pilots because of this, they are also heroes.”
Zelensky also emphasized that everyone is worried about the safety of the defenders. At present, the entire evacuation operation is led by the United Nations, the Red Cross and other units. Family.
▲The commander of the Azov Battalion was regarded as the number one war criminal by the Russian army. When evacuating the steel plant, he was taken away in a low-key manner by a special bus. (Picture / Retrieved from the Twitter of A30B Azov Camp)
Maksym Zhorin, the former commander of the Azov Battalion, also posted on the Internet that the entire process will be announced in the future as circumstances permit, but first please see the expressions of the defenders when they leave the steel plant , still holding their heads high, full of self-confidence and confidence, not giving up or breaking down, let alone death in their eyes.
According to footage shot by Russian state media, senior officers from the steel plant were also in the final evacuation procession, including the acting brigade commander of the 36th Independent Brigade of the Ukrainian Marine Corps, Sergey W. Serhiy Volyna. As for the Azov battalion commander Denis Prokopenko, who is regarded by the Russian military as the number one enemy, he was taken away in a low-key manner by the Russian army on a special bus.
▲ Sergey, the acting brigade commander of the 36th Independent Brigade of the Ukrainian Marine Corps, who also evacuated from the steel plant, spoke to the camera for the last time. (Photo / Retrieved from Telegram of the Russian Ministry of Defense)