MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu called the storming of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol inexpedient and ordered its cancellation.
"I consider the proposed storming of the steel plant inexpedient. I order you to cancel it," the commander-in-chief said. "Yes sir!" Shoigu replied.
Putin explained his order with considerations of preserving the lives of the Russian servicemen. "This is a case where we must think, that is, we must always think, but in this case what is more important is preserving the lives and health of our soldiers and officers. There is no reason to penetrate through these subterranean pathways and beneath these industrial facilities," the president stressed.
"Block off this industrial zone so that a fly wouldn’t be able to get out," he ordered.
Putin also instructed Shoigu to once again suggest that all those who have not yet laid down their weapons do so. "The Russian side guarantees their lives. They will be treated with dignity in accordance with the relevant international legal acts. All those who have been wounded will be provided qualified medical care," the president noted.
Shoigu reported to Putin that all of Mariupol is under control, the militants are securely blocked at the Azovstal steel plant.