Highlights

  • Russia claims Mariupol captured
  • 20,000 feared dead in Mariupol
  • Steel mill was the site of fierce fighting for weeks

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Russia claimed to have captured Mariupol on Friday; biggest victory for the invader country yet

Russia's claim of capturing Mariupol comes almost three months since the war started

Russia claimed to have captured Mariupol on Friday in what would be its biggest victory yet in its war with Ukraine. This comes after a nearly three-month siege that reduced much of the strategic port city to a smoking ruin, with over 20,000 civilians feared dead.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin the “complete liberation” of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol - the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance - and the city as a whole, spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.

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Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti quoted the ministry as saying a total of 2,439 Ukrainian fighters who had been holed up at the steelworks had surrendered since Monday, including over 500 on Friday.

The steel mill had been the site of fierce fighting for weeks. The dwindling group of outgunned fighters had held out in the plant, drawing Russian airstrikes, artillery and tank fire, before their government ordered them to abandon its defence and save their lives.

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