Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu not to attack Ukrainian troops in the Azovstal Plant of Mariupol, stating the move would be “irrational, claiming the lives of Russian soldiers.”
Earlier, Shoigu told Putin that Mariupol had been "liberated" but that some 2,000 fighters remained in the Azovstal area which was under a complete blockade.
Putin responded that this is the moment when they should think about the lives and health of Russian soldiers.
"There is no need to go to these catacombs. Block the area in the way no one can enter the site,” Putin said, adding that Russia promised life and decent treatment to anyone who surrendered.
Azovstal is the only fortified area in Mariupol that the Russian army has been unable to capture
since almost two months of war.
Russians called on the military and other personnel stationed in the plant area to surrender by April 17, otherwise they threatened a large-scale operation.
The ultimatum of the Russian army was dismissed by the Ukrainian military.
The Ukrainian 36th army leadership, who are in the plant, stated today that despite the complicated situation they destroyed three Russian tanks and other military equipment.