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At least half of Mariupol liberated, DPR’s Information Ministry says

The situation in the city is still tense, the DPR’s forces are surrounding the nationalist battalions

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/.The forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have managed to liberate at least 50% of Mariupol’s territory, the DPR’s First Deputy Information Minister, Daniil Beznosov, told Russia's Channel One on Tuesday.

"As far as I understand, at least 50% of the territory must have been liberated," he said, noting that he was mainly referring to the Left Bank district of the city.

He said the situation in the city was still tense; the DPR’s forces were surrounding the nationalist battalions. Beznosov noted the operation to liberate the city was progressing with difficulty, but that the the number of nationalists had been cut in half. "Our data suggests that initially there were as many as 14,000 of them in the city. Now, I think, there are probably half as many, at least," he said.

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in Ukraine in response to a request for aid from the Donbass republics. The DPR and LPR started a military operation to liberate territory which had been part of the two former Ukrainian regions which remained under Kiev’s control.