Zaporizhia/kyiv. Russian forces fired rockets on Tuesday at the surrounded Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, Ukraine’s last holdout in the port city, after a ceasefire broke down with some civilians trapped under the site despite an evacuation agreement. negotiated by the UN.
However, dozens of evacuees who made it out under UN and Red Cross auspices over the weekend after hiding for weeks under the Azovstal plant finally reached the relative safety of Ukrainian-controlled Zaporizhzhia.
“A powerful attack in the Azovstal area is currently under way, supported by armor and tanks,” Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov battalion defending the facility, said in a video message on Telegram.
Previously, the Russian Ministry of Defense, quoted by Russian agencies, had announced that “units of the Russian army and the Donetsk People’s Republic, using artillery and aircraft, began to destroy” the “firing positions” of the Ukrainian fighters who left of the plant.
Russia steps up attacks
Other Ukrainian cities were also the target of Russian missile fire, including three power plants in Lviv, said the mayor of this city in the west of the country, which is now partially without electricity.
“Three power plants were damaged as a result of a missile attack,” Mayor Andrey Sadovy said on Telegram, adding that the pumping stations were without power due to the damage.
At least one person was injured, he added. According to Ukrainian media, power outages affected several districts of Lviv.
Local authorities also reported shelling in the Vinnytsia (centre), Odessa (southwest) and Kirovograd (centre) regions, although no damage was indicated.
The Transcarpathia region, bordering Hungary in western Ukraine and hitherto unaffected, was hit for the first time since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
“A missile fell in a mountainous area of Transcarpathia. The services are working on the spot, we are clarifying the information about the injured and possible victims,” said the governor of this region, Viktor Mikita, on Telegram.
Russia has directed fire at eastern and southern Ukraine since failing to take kyiv in March, but has also hit targets farther west in a bid to limit Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea, vital for its grain exports. and metals.