Putin: “Let not a single fly fly from the catacombs”

Putin: “Let not a single fly fly from the catacombs”

This is what goes for reporting from the Daily Mail

Left to starve in their tomb: Putin orders troops to seal Mariupol’s last defenders – and thousands of civilians – in steelwork catacombs and ‘not to let a fly escape’ as Vladimir declares city ‘liberated’

  • Putin gave the order to seal off the steelworks Sergei Shoigu, his defence minister, on live television
  • Shoigu previously said more than 2,000 Ukrainian were still holed up in the plant
  • Russian president said he deemed it unnecessary for his troops to storm the steelworks
  • He called on the remaining Ukrainian fighters to surrender, claiming Russia would treat them with respect
  • Mariupol has been under siege since invasion began, and has been all-but razed

Here are the heavily-edited highlights from western media

This is what was ACTUALLY said

S.Shoigu: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the People’s Militia Forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic liberated Mariupol. The remnants of the nationalist formation took refuge in the industrial zone of the Azovstal plant.

Mariupol is a major industrial and main transport hub on the Sea of Azov. In 2014, the Kiev regime declared the city the de facto temporary capital of the Donetsk region, turning it into a powerful fortified area and refuge for radical Ukrainian nationalists in eight years. This is actually the capital of Azov, the Azov battalion.

A large number of heavy weapons, military equipment, including tanks, MLRS “Smerch”, “Uragan”, artillery systems of high power, missile systems “Tochka-U” were gathered in the city. Tochka-U has a range of 120 kilometers, and our Taganrog is 94 kilometers from Mariupol, the capital of the Southern Federal District, Rostov, is located approximately at this distance.

Stocks of missiles, ammunition and fuel and lubricants, food for long-term hostilities have been created. The main objects of urban infrastructure, including the seaport and the fairway, were mined and not only mined, but also blocked by floating cranes. The ships that were there were mostly foreign vessels.

In total, if we talk about armored vehicles – tanks, armored fighting vehicles, there were 179, 170 guns and mortars of various kinds, including multiple launch rocket systems, which I have already mentioned, “Tornadoes” and “Hurricanes”. At the time of the encirclement on March 11, the total number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nationalist formations, as well as foreign mercenaries, which were also enough, was more than 8100 people. During the liberation of the city, more than four thousand were destroyed, 1478 surrendered, the remaining group – more than two thousand – was blocked in the industrial zone of the Azovstal plant.

Resisting, the nationalists turned almost all residential buildings into long-term firing points. Armored vehicles and artillery were installed on the first floors, and snipers were installed on the upper floors. Separate detachments – with ATGMs. On the middle floors and in the basements, all the inhabitants were collected, turning them into a human shield. They were held both on the middle floors and in the basements. It was actually in every home.

Retreating, the Ukrainian army, nationalist battalions in Mariupol, as in other Ukrainian cities, hid behind the civilian population. Here we have many cases when, leaving to cover their departure, in any case, we have recorded four such cases, covering their departure, they drove people out of the basements. By the way, it was literally four days ago, when the port area was liberated, and they drove almost everyone from high-rises to the streets in order to hide themselves, leaving behind continuous destruction, including socially significant cultural facilities.

Liberating Mariupol, the Russian army and dpr people’s militia units took all measures to save the lives of civilians. On your instructions, Mr President, humanitarian corridors have been opened daily since March 21 to evacuate civilians and foreign citizens.

Soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and militants of nationalist battalions were invited to lay down their arms. They were guaranteed, of course, life, safety and medical care.

As for the planned humanitarian actions – I call them “actions”, they combined both corridors and transport supply, these were ambulances and buses, we had days when there were up to a hundred such buses, and 25-30 ambulances each – we daily notified and were in contact with Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine [Iryna] Vereschuk.

iplomatic missions of foreign countries that appealed in one way or another, because there were [their] citizens – by the way, many of them were released and taken out of Mariupol in the process of these humanitarian actions – the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the relevant OSCE structures, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations, they were officially notified about the time and place. And, of course, at some point we even demanded their presence, in order to, of course, comply with all the humanitarian rules in this part, as far as possible with the constant, continuous conduct and non-continuous firing from Mariupol by the National Troops and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Despite their opposition – both militants and everyone else – we managed to evacuate 142,711 civilians from Mariupol after your instruction. All hostages in the commercial seaport have been released, including the crews of seagoing vessels from whom the hijackers destroyed all communication systems so that they could not contact anyone. The port is mined. The sea area is blocked. I hope that now they will have the opportunity to leave this port.

Today, the whole of Mariupol is under the control of the Russian army, the people’s militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and the territory of the Azovstal plant with the remnants of nationalists and foreign mercenaries is securely blocked.

Over the past two days, again on your instructions, we have been declaring a ceasefire regime from 2 to 4 p.m., all hostilities are being completely stopped, and humanitarian corridors have been opened for civilians who may be on the territory of the Azovstal plant to leave.

We have prepared for them about 90 buses, 25 ambulances. Naturally, bearing in mind that all this is constantly distorted, we installed video conferencing cameras, and there was almost a live broadcast here, to our control center. No one left Azovstal. But other civilians, more than 100 people, were able to leave. During these days, this is perhaps a great deal of work that we have done with all international organizations.

At present, the situation in the city is calm, allowing to begin to restore order, return the population and establish a peaceful life. As for those who have disappeared at the Azovstal plant and are thoroughly blocked there and around the perimeter, it takes us about three or four days to complete this work at Azovstal.

The report is over.

Vladimir Putin: I consider the proposed storming of the industrial zone to be inappropriate.

I order the cancellation.

Sergei Shoigu: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: This is a case where we must think – that is, we must always think, but in this case even more so about preserving the lives and health of our soldiers and officers. There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground on these industrial facilities.

Block this industrial area so that the fly does not fly by.

Sergei Shoigu: Yes.

Vladimir Putin: Invite once again all those who have not yet laid down their arms to do so. The Russian side guarantees them life and decent treatment in accordance with the relevant international legal instruments. All those who are injured will be provided with qualified medical care.

The completion of the combat work on the liberation of Mariupol is a success. Congratulations. Convey words of gratitude to the troops. Please submit proposals for awarding our distinguished soldiers to state awards. It is clear that in such cases there is no other way, these are different awards, but I want them all to know: in our understanding they are all heroes, in the understanding of the whole of Russia. They’re all heroes.

In this regard, in addition to fulfilling all social obligations to our servicemen, especially to those who were injured, to the families of our fallen comrades, it is necessary to ensure the unconditional fulfillment of all social guarantees.

But it seems to me that this is not enough. It is necessary to think about additional measures of support, and in some cases to think about perpetuating the memory of those of our comrades who showed truly heroism and sacrificed their lives for the peaceful life of our people in the Donbass and to ensure the peaceful life and existence of Russia itself, the peaceful existence of our country. These people, by their actions and their attitude to the oath, deserved it.

As for the Defence Ministry, please work on it. I will issue a corresponding instruction to the Presidential Executive Office, I will talk to my colleagues in the regions, and they will carry out the relevant work in the municipalities of Russia.

Of course, bringing such an important center in the south as Mariupol under control is a success. Congratulations.

Sergei Shoigu: Thank you, Mr President.

 

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