DONETSK, March 30. /TASS/. Members of Ukrainian nationalist battalions are holed up at three local plants, Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin told Channel One on Wednesday.
"Our forces are already working in downtown [Mariupol]. The majority [of nationalists] are holed up at three plants. These are the main points where they can hold their positions, taking advantage of the infrastructure facilities at these plants. I am talking about Azovstal, Illich [Steel and Iron Works] and Azovmash," he explained.
Tensions escalated along the line of contact in Donbass on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics reported the heaviest shelling by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in months. On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation based on a request from the heads of the Donbass republics. The Russian head of state stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territories and the goal was to demilitarize and denazify the country.