“There is progress”: militants began to disappear from Azot in Severodonetsk
And the civilians are still being driven back into basements by the national battalions
Foreign mercenaries and militants of the Aidar national battalion (the organization is recognized as extremist, banned in Russia) settled in the Azot plant in Severodonetsk ), are blocking all negotiations on surrender, a TASS source said. The chairman of the International Public Tribunal for Ukraine, a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation Maxim Grigoriev, who has just returned from Severodonetsk, spoke about the civilians of the city and the hostages held on the territory of the enterprise by Ukrainian units.
Photo: Still from video
— Severodonetsk as a whole has been liberated, militants, mercenaries and the Ukrainian military hold only a small part of the industrial zone, which is getting smaller and smaller, says Maxim Grigoriev. – But they continue to hit residential areas and the local population from the industrial zone. Severodonetsk is also being shelled from neighboring Lisichansk.
Photo: Still from the video
A public official says they managed to collect a lot of testimonies from people who say that militants are forcibly holding civilians at Azot.
– They cover themselves as a shield from the advancing allied forces of Russia and the LPR. It was the same at Azovstal.
Residents of Mariupol told us that the military wanted to evacuate only together with the civilian population. Also under UN guarantees, hoping that international forces will help them. Now the Kyiv regime is trying to withdraw the Ukrainian military from the Azot along with the civilians of Severodonetsk to Lysichansk. But no one will allow this.
– Part of the detained people are employees of the enterprise. The authorities invited them to take refuge at the enterprise, convincing them that stocks of food and water were made in the bomb shelters. And in the city by that time there were already interruptions in food, the water supply was not working, the electricity was turned off. Someone went to the bomb shelters on Azot to escape the shelling. The militants hit the city with tanks and artillery from the industrial zone. It is clear that if you are at the enterprise, the risk of falling under the bombing is less. It was also a motivation.
– Their number is unknown. Since Soviet times, Azot has been left with bomb shelters that were designed for a nuclear war. According to the employees of the enterprise, there are impressive spaces under large workshops. Of course, they are smaller than at Azovstal. But the industrial zone at Azot is quite extensive, the chemical plant occupies a third of the city's territory.
— I think that they are located in different places. At Azovstal, for example, the nationalist units took the best bomb shelters for themselves. The APU occupied the bunkers on a residual basis. And the locals took refuge in those underground rooms that had not yet been filled.
“I don't think any large container of chemicals could have exploded there. It must be understood that the mercenaries and Ukrainian units themselves sit in those positions. And it is unlikely that they are wearing chemical protection suits. They are not suicides to undermine a container with nitric acid and be the first to suffer from this.
Although theoretically, they, of course, can calculate the wind rose so that all emissions go to the city. But this is a delicate matter, and it is unlikely that they are now up to such calculations. Today I spoke with the employees of the enterprise. They say that the leaders of Azot removed part of the products and raw materials, and tried to process what was left as much as possible. So, there can be no global ecological catastrophe there. Some of the chemicals on the 18th could have been blown up by stupidity or by accident. Emissions are released into the atmosphere.
– We were at the forefront of our troops in front of the entrance of the Azot plant. At our side, everything is ready for the exit of local residents from the chemical plant. Everyone is ready to help them. There is urban development right behind the industrial zone. It is enough for them to walk 500 meters to get to our positions.
But the hostages are not released from the factory. There are constant shellings. The mercenaries and militants who have settled on Azot do not perceive this humanitarian corridor. People are being intimidated.
I think that everything is happening, as it was at Azovstal, where local residents were convinced that as soon as they left, the DPR troops would open fire on them. Therefore, you must sit until the end. Those who still tried to get to the checkpoint were shouted from the Ukrainian positions that were located there: “Go back.” And they started shooting into the air.
Photo: Still from video
Eyewitnesses also told us that Azov militants people were not allowed out of the burning buildings. They jumped out, tried to put out the fire, they were shot at their feet and driven back into the building. For them, civilians are not people, but consumables.
We collected a lot of evidence when the nationalists took up positions in the houses, and if one of the local residents tried to object to them, they received a bullet in the forehead. We have all the materials about the crimes of the Ukrainian military in Severodonetsk. After all, they started shelling the city even before the arrival of the LPR troops.
— Thousands of people. At one address, in one house there are 50 people sitting in the basement, in another – 20, in the third – 10. People have some reserves. Large-scale humanitarian assistance to them is provided by our military. Volunteers also come, but it is quite difficult for them to break through under shelling. People mostly ask to bring medicines. When we were going to Severodonetsk, we bought several boxes of medicines. We went and handed them out.
—Someone has an artesian well nearby. And it is possible to connect a diesel generator to it for a short time. Someone uses technical water. Takes water from fire reservoirs. Someone lives next to the well. There are those who go to the spring.
— The city is shelled at any time. Maybe the militants wake up after drinking and open fire. Perhaps the relevant orders are coming from Kyiv.
– The bridge that connected Severodonetsk with Lisichansk was blown up. You can't get to the side where the Ukrainian units are still holding the defense. And deep into the LPR, the path is open. But getting there is not easy. You need to have a car. And to keep her on track. Many cars were damaged by shelling or stolen by the Armed Forces. There must be fuel. In addition, nationalists monitor the situation with the help of quadrocopters. They strike at all moving vehicles. Civilians there – not peaceful – they do not care. Therefore, many people think that it is better to wait in the basements than to hit the road.
Photo: Frame from video
We tried to respond to all inquiries. It used to be that they moved to the specified address, and this house stood right next to the industrial zone, where there was intense shooting. Our escorts said: “This is not our area of responsibility.” We returned to the commandant's office, and with other fighters we went there.
— I think that there will be progress in the near future. According to our information, they are moving away from the industrial zone. They understand that it makes no sense to keep the plant. The fire is no longer so intense. Apparently, there are fewer and fewer ammunition.
– They can both swim and cross on rafts. All the same, they will get to them both in Lisichansk and in other places.
– We saw them, interrogated the prisoners. These are staunch nationalists, just like the Azovites (an extremist organization banned in the Russian Federation). At one of the Azov bases, I found a copy of the 1941 map of the German General Staff directly of the places where they were based in Mariupol. There were roads left, all the heights were marked.
— You see, they felt like the successors of the Nazis, the conquerors.
– This is a classic situation. Remember their predecessors from the SS division “Galicia” (at the Nuremberg trials it was called a criminal organization) and other policemen. Inducing terror, shooting and torturing civilians, being on guard at concentration camps, torturing women and children is one thing. But they always failed to fight with the regular army.
The Germans themselves did not consider them good warriors. They were mainly involved in punitive operations. They burned the villages together with the inhabitants, fought with the partisans. Their only clash with units of the 1st Ukrainian Front happened in July 1944 near Brody. Not far from Lvov, Ukrainian SS-“Galicians” fell into the cauldron and were defeated.
Shots of the Azot plant in Severodonetsk, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine settled: before and now
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