Kyiv, May 6 (EFE).- The battle at the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol continued to rage more intensely on Friday as Russian forces made advances in east Ukraine to control Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Ukrainian army said.
The army high command said the Russians “continue to block the Ukrainian defense units inside the Azovstal plant,” the last stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in the strategic port city.
Hundreds of civilians were holed up in the sprawling steel factory that the Russian forces besieged for weeks to control the port city.
Some of the hostages, including children, were evacuated by the United Nations and the Red Cross.
The Russian forces have continued their offensive in the east, where Moscow wants to gain control of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions for a land route to the Crimean peninsula annexed in 2014.
The military high command said the Russians attacked the Khérson and Mykolaiv region in the north and bombed the settlements from which they had withdrawn.
The Ukrainian army said the Russian troops were expanding air defense systems and regrouping and restoring the combat capabilities of their units.
They are also carrying out aerial reconnaissance operations to detect the positions of the Ukrainian forces and their future routes of advance. EFE