Ukrainian commander: Russian forces firing “willingly” on Mariupol factory where people are sheltering

In an address on Monday to world leaders, commander of the Azov Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko, said Russian forces are firing on the Azovstal steelworks factory “willingly” in Mariupol as hundreds of people are sheltering inside. 

Prokopenko is the commander of one of the Ukrainian units defending the port city of Mariupol.

Prokopenko said in a post on Telegram account that among those sheltering are, “people of all ages, women, children, and families of Mariupol defenders. They are sheltering in the basements and bunkers from the ‘Russian world.'”

According to Prokopenko, those sheltering “found their only available shelter next to the Ukrainian soldiers, who are still defending the city from Russian invaders.”

“Russian occupational forces and their proxy from Luhansk People’s Republic/Donetsk People’s Republics know about civilians and keep their fire on the factory willingly. They use free-fall bombs, rockets, bunker-buster bombs, and all varieties of artillery, both ground and naval, for indiscriminate attacks,” Prokopenko said.

He added, “City theatre, maternity hospital, schools, kindergartens, and houses were destroyed by those who now offer civilians evacuation and safety. These are the same people. And nobody believes.”

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