The Russian military and its separatist allies are now fighting in downtown Mariupol, a beleaguered strategic Ukrainian port in the southeast of the country, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.
“In Mariupol, the units of the People’s Republic (self-proclaimed, editor’s note) of Donetsk, with the support of the Russian armed forces, tighten their grip of encirclement and fight the nationalists in the center of the city”, indicated the spokesman. of the ministry, Igor Konashenkov.
He also assured that Russian forces and Lugansk separatists now control 90% of the territory of the eponymous Ukrainian region. Shortly before the February 24 offensive, Moscow had recognized the independence of the separatist territories of Lugansk and Donetsk.