“The Russians are now at the site of the Azovstal plant” • Rutte: More heavy weapons may be sent to Ukraine

Defense specialist Peter Wijinga of The Hague Center for Strategic Studies sees no evidence yet that the Russians began storming the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. Yesterday, Ukrainian sources reported that the Russians launched an attack on the last Ukrainian stronghold there.

Today, more civilians hiding in the tunnels under the factory will be evacuated. Wijninga believes the Russians are waiting for evacuations and perhaps the storm will begin after that.

President Putin ordered the factory gates to be tightly closed and wait for the Ukrainian army to run out of supplies and surrender. Wijinga: “Maybe they thought that the Ukrainian military who were still in that factory would not be able to resist. But it turned out to be so. Russian positions are constantly under fire, as a result of which Putin and his minions had to storm this factory in any way to seize the city.

Wijninga believes the May 9 approach plays a role in the Russians’ willingness to cooperate in the evacuations. Then Russia celebrated the victory over Nazi Germany. “It would be nice if you claim on that day that you have taken a major strategic step by capturing Mariupol.”

The first group of evacuees from the Azovstal complex in Mariupol arrived yesterday in Zaporizhia:

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Megan Vasquez

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