See Mariupol’s Azovstal Steel-Mill Fortress Before the War, and Now

In late January, while in Mariupol reporting on how Ukrainian forces were preparing for the invasion of Russia, a New York Times video team captured drone footage of the Azovstal Iron and Steel plant. , an industrial engine of the southern port city.

Three months later, the factory became the last debt owed to the defenders of the Ukrainian city against Russian forces.

In peacetime, the vast factory complex, opened in 1933 under Soviet rule, produces more than 4,000 tons of steel and iron a year and employs thousands of local residents. The wooden case factory dominates the city’s skyline, and in January it released curling plumes of exhaust into the heavy winter sky.

Now, another drone has captured a similar angle of the steel mill and its surroundings, showing images of the devastation, including the roofs of buildings hit and smoldering bridges. The video, released by Reuters, was first released by RIA Novosti, a Russian state news agency. The images were taken minutes before the alleged Russian attack was halted to let defenders. Ukrainian guards inside the factory had a chance to lay down their weapons. Russia’s advance notices of the ceasefire were approved.

Before-and-after footage shows the scale of devastation Mariupol suffered after nearly two months of near-constant Russian artillery, mortar and air strikes. Ukrainian fighters and hundreds of civilians had gathered throughout the siege, and some unknowns remained in the labyrinth of underground rooms and passages of the factory, with supplies inside for the day. more and more exhausted.

Ukrainian forces inside the plant rejected Russia’s ultimatum to surrender and vowed to fight to the “last drop of blood”. At the same time, they begged for help from the outside world, either for the assistance of a third party in evacuating civilians or with weapons to fight their way out.

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