MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Some Ukrainian security forces may still remain on the territory of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol due to a lack of coordination between their commanders, Eduard Basurin, deputy chief of the DPR People’s Militia said on Thursday.
"The lack of coordination of the general command at Azovstal led to the fact that everyone lived independently, everyone was hiding in their own corner, so it is possible that we may find them [remaining militants]," he said during a Channel One TV broadcast.
According to Basurin, the full mop-up of Azovstal should be completed in about two to three weeks, because "the territory is huge, there are places to hide." Many militants are afraid to come out for various reasons, the deputy commander stressed. "With the conditions they are in, they are hiding like frightened little puppies, squatting in a corner and thinking that no one will ever find them <...>. Everyone will be found," he vowed.
The battles for Mariupol erupted on February 25 and the city was totally blocked. After the Ukrainian security forces were driven out of the residential areas, the remnants of the group, including Nazis from the Azov battalion, took refuge in the industrial zone of the Azovstal steel plant. On May 20, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu had reported to President Vladimir Putin about the completion of the operation and the liberation of the Azovstal steel plant and the entire city from Ukrainian militants. Since May 16, a total of 2,439 Azov nationalists and Ukrainian troops, who had been blocked on the plant’s territory since April 21, have surrendered.