MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. The Ukrainian militants still hiding at the Azovstal steelworks are offering no resistance to forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Eduard Basurin, deputy chief of the DPR People’s Militia said on Thursday.
"<...> [The Ukrainian militants hiding at Azovstal] are offering no resistance, since they realize that any shot will help us identify their location," Basurin said in an on-air broadcast of Russia’s state Channel One television.
He said the exact number of Ukrainian soldiers hiding at the plant was yet unknown.
The battle for Mariupol began on February 25 and during the clashes, the city ended up fully boxed-in. So far, residential blocks have been cleared of Ukrainian nationalists, while the group that remained, including militants from the neo-Nazi formation "Azov", had been hiding at the plant for some time. Late last week, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu had informed President Vladimir Putin about the end of the operation to liberate completely the Azovstal plant and the city of Mariupol from Ukrainian militants. In all, 2,439 Azov nationalists and Ukrainian servicemen holed up at the plant have laid down their arms and surrendered since May 16.