MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. Russian forces are not storming the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol but are blocking militants holed up there from getting to firing positions, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.
"Publicly, the supreme commander-in-chief handed down an order to call off the assault. There is no assault. All of us see that flare-ups occur when militants get out to assume gun emplacements. These attempts are suppressed quite promptly," the presidential spokesman said, responding to a question about whether Russian President Vladimir Putin’s directive could be reversed given the intensified activity by the radical militants entrenched at Azovstal.
At a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on April 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin handed down a directive calling off a looming assault on Azovstal as inexpedient and ordered that the industrial zone there be tightly sealed off so that even a fly "couldn’t get through."