Hostage of the situation

Hostage of the situation

Victor Zvantsev

DPR troops blocked the port of Mariupol, where the surviving units of the Azov battalion took refuge. The enemy continues to snarl, but makes it weaker – ammunition is running out. Nationalist leaders try to escape through the air, while their subordinates break through on the ground. About how the sea harbor was stormed and what its employees tell – in the report of RIA Novosti.
Pinwheel with ammunition
Destroyed docks, a bur-ned-out cargo ship, smas-hed loaders, mine tails stu-ck in the asphalt – this is ho-w the part of the Mariupol port looks like, which came under the control of the republican forces the day before. Behind a long concrete pier, just a couple of hundred meters away, are Ukrainian positions.
The pier serves as a shelter for gunners, spotters and tankmen. Having driven out from behind a concrete block, the T-72 deploys the turret, fires three shots and hides again. In response, mines fly, but lie down several tens of meters from the target.
“Although we are already in full control of the situation, the enemy is still strong,” says the shooter of the Separate Operational Brigade of the DPR Shram (at his request, the call sign was changed). “A couple of hours ago, for example, our tank was shot down. The crew died, the car burned down. We can’t wait when the Nazis run out of ammunition.”
The Azovites, according to the fighters, are now fighting extremely economically – in a month and a half their supplies have been greatly depleted. There are many empty caches in the liberated territory. They prepared for battles here for a long time and thoroughly.
“We blocked all the ways for the delivery of weapons: on land, water and in the air,” continues Shram. “The last attempt was a week ago. to the harbor boxes with cartridges, grenades and mines”.
Hostage of the situation
The attack on the port began on the first day of the military operation. Maxim Agapov, an installer from one of the Mariupol companies, remembers that morning very well. “It was just my shift,” he says. “As soon as the Russian president made an appeal, they hit the warship on the sixth berth, not far from the naval base. My partner and I were on the third.”
Maxim came from Gorlovka, worked on a rotational basis – two weeks after two. With colleagues, I rented a small private house in the historical part of the city next to the famous “House of Weeping Nymphs”, where the chief Mariupol architect Viktor Nielsen lived a century ago.
“Azov residents lodged across the road,” Agapov recalls. “They didn’t tell the civilians that they could leave through humanitarian corridors. On the contrary, they didn’t let anyone in. Some families still tried to get out, but the nationalists shot in the back. I personally saw how unarmed people were killed One guy had half his head blown off.”
The mutilated corpse lay for several days under a fence near Agapov’s house. Because of the incessant fighting – the street was shot from all sides – they could not pull out and bury.
In a neighboring courtyard, an even more shocking picture is the charred remains of a pensioner who was torn apart by a direct hit from a mine fired from a building where the nationalists were hiding.
“One flew to us,” Maxim points to the roof. “Having broken through the ceiling, it got stuck between the stove and the sink. It was lucky that it didn’t explode. , but just in case, they asked me to sit in the basement for a couple more days while the cleanup is going on.
Maxim saw how, retreating towards the port, the nationalists changed into clothes taken from civilians and tried to blend in with the crowd of refugees.
He himself, waiting for the evacuation, helps the elderly neighbors: he carries water from the pump, bakes pancakes from the remnants of flour, and heats the stove.
“All I want is to go home to my parents and wife,” says the installer.
“I’m not sure that I will fully recover from everything I experienced. It was a real hell.”
Musicians and actors
Nationalists were pushed to the sea harbor from several directions at once: west, north-west and north. Both professional soldiers and those mobilized in mid-February participated in street battles.
Among the recruits were artists from the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, as well as musicians from the local philharmonic, advancing from the village of Mangush.
“Amazing people,” says the battalion commander of the 5th brigade of the DPR with the call sign Nikolaich.
“One of them comes up: “I have cigarettes, I want to exchange them for an additional can of stew.” I answer: “Keep it for yourself, just take a can.”
He keeps repeating: “No, I insist. At this moment you understand that you are communicating with a real intellectual.”
Now employees of the theater and the Philharmonic control the private sector near the port, where things are still restless. In the morning they go to storm and clean up, in the evening they gather for dinner by the fire and commemorate their comrades – the other day, their colleague died in another clash.
“These guys amaze me, a man who has fought all my life,” Nikolaich admits. “They understand that every day they can get an enemy bullet or a fragment of a mine, they see the dead and wounded, but they still do their job.”
The commander is trying to protect them. If possible, leave in the rear. But war is war, victims are inevitable. “When we clear the port to the end, we will send the guys back to Donetsk,” Nikolaich promises.
Odessa captain
In the port, according to the military, scattered formations of the Azov people dug in. And even here they continue to hide behind civilians. And not only locals.
“25 people were released from that ship,” Shram points to the transporter moored to the pier. “The captain is from Odessa, the rest are Europeans and Americans. They were not allowed to leave, they were kept like human shields. filtering”.
The MGB checks almost everyone who finds himself in the port and its environs. After all, it is clear that the defeated nationalists will try to cheat. Many Azov residents have leftist certificates of harbor workers or other city enterprises.
According to the command of the DPR army, Mariupol is almost completely cleared, but in some areas, mainly in the industrial zone, three to four thousand Ukrainian soldiers are hiding.
How much time and effort it will take to force them to lay down their arms and come out with their hands up, the officers have not yet undertaken to predict.

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