Large area of ​​Azovstal metallurgical plant now in ruins (Photo: Reuters)

Aerial photographs revealed damage to the Mariupol Steel Plant after weeks of shelling by Russian forces.

Ukraine Last Monday, it ordered the last unit defending the Azovstal metallurgical plant to fail, and on Friday, Russian forces finally declared full control of the vast industrial complex.

The plant became Ukraine’s last containment in Mariupol, and militants defending it have become a symbol of Ukraine’s perseverance in the face of Russian aggression.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has released footage of the detention of Ukrainian servicemen on the spot after the victory was announced.

It was said in total 2439 Ukrainians surrenderedhowever, there are now concerns about their safety.

Family members of the fighters, who came from various military and law enforcement units, petitioned to be granted prisoners of war rights and eventually returned home.

Among the defenders of the Azovstal plant were members of the Azov Regiment, whose far-right background was seized by the Kremlin as part of its efforts to declare an invasion to fight Nazi influence in Ukraine.

What was once the administrative building of the metallurgical plant “Azovstal”, now remains only ruins (Photo: Reuters)
Many buildings near the plant remain in ruins (Photo: Reuters)

The unit, formed in 2014 as a militia to fight Russian-backed separatists, denies the fascist nature, and Ukraine says it has been reformed from its radical far-right origins.

The group held out at the plant for several weeks, using a seven-mile network of underground tunnels at the site to shelter from Russian missiles.

After the surrender of the Ukrainian saw Putin’s forces moving to the metallurgical plant, clearing the place of debris and checking for mines.

Russian servicemen marched on the territory of the complex and attacked minesweepers on the road littered with rubble, others checked explosive devices under the objects, video recordings showed.

Drone footage shows the scale of the destruction at MMK Azovstal (Photo: Reuters)
Destruction caused by almost three months of fighting in Mariupol (Photo: Reuters)
Russian troops enter Azovstal metallurgical plant and start clearing it of mines (Photo: Reuters)

“The task is huge, the enemy planted its own mines, we also planted anti-personnel mines, blocking the enemy,” said a Russian soldier, who called only his last name Baba.

“So we have about two weeks of work ahead of us.”

During Sunday’s operation, mines were detonated by controlled explosions, and the roads of the metallurgical plant were cleared with the help of military bulldozers with the letter “Z”.

Meanwhile, footage from the drone showed the destruction caused by weeks of heavy bombardment: the buildings of the metallurgical plant remained in ruins, burned, partially collapsed or just a pile of garbage.

“More than 100 explosives have been destroyed in the last two days. The work continues, ”Babay added.

Full control of Mariupol gives Russia control of the land route connecting the Crimean peninsula, which Moscow seized in 2014, with mainland Russia and part of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.

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Drone shows turmoil left behind by Russian fighters at Mariupol steelworks

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