Demolish Azovstal and turn Mariupol into a resort city – the occupying authorities announced their plans
The occupation authorities of Mariupol intend to demolish the Azovstal plant, which became the base of resistance for Ukrainian troops during the Russian encirclement of the city. This was announced by the city council of Mariupol, and the head of the “DPR” Denis Pushilin, who TASS quoted, also announced intentions to demolish the plant.
According to Pushilin, the invaders plan to restore the Mariupol Ilyich Iron and Steel Works. They want to build a technopark, a residential area or a park area on the site of Azovstal. The leader of the “DPR” claims that they want to turn Mariupol into a resort city. Pushilin did not specify where the occupiers planned to take funds for this.
The city council of Mariupol says that with this decision, the Russians want to preventively destroy an important industrial complex for Ukraine because the Armed Forces of Ukraine may have the strength to de-occupy Mariupol.
“They want to erase any mention of the heroic deed of the Ukrainian military. The invaders are not interested in the restoration and development of Mariupol. For them, this is only territory for the Crimean corridor,” the message says.
Why is the plant important?
The Mariupol City Council notes that Azovstal is a unique full-cycle metallurgical complex that gave the city 10,000 jobs. According to the agency, the enterprise brought in billions of dollars in foreign exchange earnings and taxes, thousands of tons of high-quality steel, and tons of iron and rolled metal.
The situation in Mariupol
The city found itself in the blockade of Russian troops and was actually destroyed. The houses of 84,000 citizens were completely destroyed. It is impossible to make an exact count of the dead. According to preliminary estimates, up to 22 thousand people died in Mariupol. Some of the residents were forcibly taken to the unrecognized “DPR” territory or to Russia.
Also, Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova said that almost 170,000 Mariupol residents who remained in the temporarily occupied city suffer from hunger.
On May 1, with the support of the UN, the evacuation of civilians began, who were hiding in the territory of the Azovstal plant blocked by the Russian invaders. In total, about 500 people were taken out of Mariupol and the plant. However, the Donetsk OVA says that more than 100 civilians remain at Azovstal.
On May 16, severely wounded Ukrainian soldiers and subsequently others were evacuated from Azovstal to the occupied territory. Ukrainian fighters should be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war. However, in the Russian Federation, they already declare that they are against the exchange.