Russian troops cleared mines and debris at the Azovstal steelworks industrial site in Mariupol on Sunday, after Ukrainian troops who had been stranded at a huge plant for weeks were ordered to stand.
Troops walked through the compound and turned mine detectors on a road filled with debris, others checked under the object for explosive devices, video footage shows.
“The work is huge. The enemies planted their own landmines. We also planted anti-personnel mines while encircling the enemy. So we have about two weeks of work ahead of us,” said a Russian soldier who gave his name only. De gere babai.
Russia said on Friday that the last Ukrainian fighter to defend Azvastal had surrendered. Ukraine has not confirmed the development, but a commander in one of the factory’s units said in a video that troops had been ordered to stand.
The fighters who barricaded themselves in the tunnel surrendered to pro-Russian and pro-Russian forces.
The end of the war in Mariupol, Russia’s largest city since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, has led to a rare victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin after nearly three months of continuous fighting.
Sunday’s raid on the Azovstall showed a landmine exploded in a controlled explosion and debris was cleared from the steelwork road using a military bulldozer.
Drone footage shows steelwork buildings in ruins, many burned, many partially collapsed, and some piles of rubble.
“Over the last two days, more than 100 explosives have been destroyed. Work continues,” said Babai.
Mariupol’s full control gives Russia command of a land route connecting the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow occupied in 2014, the mainland Russia and parts of eastern Ukraine occupied by pro-Russian separatists.
Moscow has called its move a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and the West say the fascist allegations are baseless and that the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)