Battles for Azovstal

Article

August 8, 2022

Battles for "Azovstal" — military actions that lasted from March 18 to May 20, 2022 on the territory of the Mariupol metallurgical plant "Azovstal" and in the surrounding area and took place as part of the battles for Mariupol during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The battles were fought by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the one hand, and the occupying armed forces of the Russian Federation and the so-called DPR terrorist organization supported by it on the other.

Background

On February 24, 2022, after a televised address by Russian President Vladimir Putin, occupying Russian troops attacked the territory of Ukraine, including the city of Mariupol. On February 27, Russian troops approached the western outskirts of the city from the occupied Crimea, and already on March 2, the city was surrounded. The peculiarity of "Azovstal" is that it is a huge metallurgical complex that had a complex system of deep underground shelters and communications. The size of the plant was larger than many Ukrainian cities, it divided Mariupol into two parts. The plant is built directly on the shore of the Sea of ​​Azov. Such a structure enabled the Ukrainian military to turn the enterprise into a fortress. The Ukrainian metallurgical plant "Azovstal" became the center of resistance of the Ukrainian army in response to the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine. He became a symbol of the insubordination of Ukrainian soldiers. Since the beginning of the battles for Mariupol, a large number of civilians took shelter at the plant, hiding from constant shelling and bombing by the occupiers.

Siege

On April 10, more than a month after the beginning of the invasion, the Russian forces managed to completely encircle the Ukrainian military forces that remained on the territory of the Azovstal plant, however, due to the fortification works carried out by the Ukrainian forces, the ground assault became very difficult. On April 13, the defense forces of the plant were replenished by servicemen of the 36th separate marine brigade of the Navy of the Ukrainian Armed Forces named after Rear Admiral Mykhailo Bilinsky, who broke through the encirclement at the Ilyich metallurgical plant. Russian troops failed to achieve significant success during attempts to storm the territory of the metallurgical plant. In order to suppress the Ukrainian resistance, the Russians set up a blockade of the territory of the complex and podda