Eduard Basurin, a representative of the People's Militia of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) announced preparations for the encirclement of the most powerful armed group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), RIA Novosti reports.
"According to preliminary data, the group has an estimated number from 90,000 to 100,000 men. These are the most combat-ready units that Ukraine currently has, ”Basurin said.
According to him, the 100,000-strong group is located on the territory that stretches from the area "south of Donetsk" to the town of Slavyansk. The frontline is about 200 kilometers long, and goes deep into Central Ukraine.
The armed forces of Russia and the Donetsk People's Republic are successfully advancing in the industrial zone of Mariupol, where the Ukrainian military continue their resistance, Eduard Basurin also said.
According to him, the Donetsk forces currently prepare to storm the Azovstal plant. They form assault teams armed with rocket-propelled infantry flamethrowers.
"These assault groups showed their effectiveness during the assault of ground and underground structures of the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works,” said Basurin.
Azovstal is a city within a city, Basurin said, noting that it was heavily reinforced with concrete structures, which complicates the operation.
"The main task for the military is to completely block the industrial zone, destroy weapons larger than the 82-millimeter mortar, and then decide how to burn them out,” Basurin noted.
The battles for Mariupol between the People's Militia of the DPR and the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) last for more than a month already. The Ukrainian units are primarily concentrated in the area of the Azovstal and Azovmash factories.
According to the Donetsk command, a total of 3,000 to 4,000 Ukrainian army fighters may remain in the city. They took up defensive positions on fortified points and continue stubborn resistance.
The DPR forces have evacuated 47 sailors from the port of Mariupol. The sailors were evacuated from civilian ships that had been seized by the Ukrainian security forces, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the official representative of the People's Militia of the Republic, Eduard Basurin.
"The evacuation was carried out from three ships for the time being,” Basurin reported.
According to Nikolai Galaktionov, captain of the Azov Concorde ship, other ships with sailors on board continue to stay in the port.
The losses of the Ukrainian army during one day of fighting with the forces of the Donetsk People's Republic amounted to 52 people, a post on the official Telegram channel of the People's Militia of the DPR said on Monday, April 11.
According to the military, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) suffered significant losses in military equipment. Two tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, four armored vehicles, two trucks and two 122-millimeter mortar positions were destroyed.
The People's Militia of the DPR have taken full control of the seaport of Mariupol, the head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin said, RIA Novosti reports.
"Regarding the port of Mariupol, it is already under our control,” Pushilin announced.
Up to 16,000 military men of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been entrapped near the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk