Al-Madina News: While the world’s eyes are still focused on the city of Mariupol, most of which fell into the hands of Russian forces, with the exception of the Azovstal factory, the adviser to Ukrainian President Oleksiy Aristovich today, Sunday, unveiled. that the Russian forces were trying to storm the region with the support of air and artillery bombardments.
Aristovich wrote on Facebook that “Russian forces are trying to eliminate the defenders of Azovstal and more than a thousand civilians hiding in the factory,” according to Reuters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his forces to cancel plans to storm Azovstal, saying he would rather intensify the siege around it.
In turn, separatists in the Donetsk region said Ukrainian forces had bombed a school in the city of Gorlovka with artillery.
In turn, the Ukrainian prime minister said we needed more ammunition and weapons to defend our country, protect ourselves and stop the Russian invasion.
He added that more sanctions should be imposed on Russia for financing terrorism and genocide.
He added that our people realize that our future will be in a united Europe and not in the Russian Empire.
He indicated that the Russian forces had committed heinous atrocities and war crimes in Mariupol.
He pointed out that Mariupol was besieged, but our soldiers and thousands of civilians with them are still in the Azov Stable plant.
He indicated that we are waiting for the reopening of the US Embassy in Kiev, and we hope that this will happen soon.
It contains thousands of fighters
Putin also instructed his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, who had earlier told Putin that more than 2,000 Ukrainian fighters were still hiding in the large factory, much of which was underground.
It is noteworthy that Russian forces have besieged and bombed Mariupol since the first days of the military operation, which was launched on February 24, wreaking havoc on the city, which was inhabited by more than 400,000 people.
This region was a strategic target for the Russians, especially as its control would enable them to connect eastern Ukraine with Crimea in the south of the country, which Russia annexed to its territory in 2014.
Meanwhile, new operations to evacuate stranded civilians have repeatedly failed, especially in recent days, especially in the Azovstal factory, which has become the last stronghold outside Russian control in the city overlooking the Sea of Azov.
It is noteworthy that Azovstal is a steel factory and is the main stronghold of the Ukrainian resistance in the port of Mariupol.
Russian forces surrounded the factory in early March and gradually took control of most of the city.
Despite the sanctions, these European countries sold arms to Russia!
A European analysis has revealed that France and Germany have armed Russia with € 273 million worth of military equipment that is now likely to be used in Ukraine.
The analysis indicated that the equipment, including bombs, missiles and cannons, was sold to Moscow despite the EU-wide embargo on arms shipments to Russia, imposed after the 2014 annexation of Crimea, according to a special report by the European Union is done. in collaboration with the Telegraph newspaper. “Brits.
Criticism of Germany, which at the beginning of the war was unwilling to send weapons to Ukraine, increased when it became apparent that German companies were using a loophole in the European Union’s embargo on arms exports to Russia.
Germany has sold millions of euros worth of equipment
Berlin sold € 121m (£ 107m) worth of “dual-use” equipment, including guns and special protection vehicles, to Moscow.
Berlin defended it and insisted that the goods or equipment be sold only after the Kremlin confirmed that it was for civilian use, not for military use.
At the same time, France was found responsible for sending 152 million euros (£ 128 million) worth of consignments to Russia, as part of 76 export licenses.
Paris allowed exporters to honor contracts agreed before 2014, using “backdoor” technology in the European Union embargo.
Bombs, missiles and thermal cameras
In addition to bombs, missiles and torpedoes, French companies have sent thermal imaging cameras to more than a thousand Russian tanks and navigation systems for fighter jets and attack helicopters.
It is noteworthy that since the beginning of the military operation in Ukraine, the European Union has imposed more restrictions on the export of dual-use items to Moscow.
While the loophole in the sanctions was only closed at the end of April 8, and it was not closed until after the protests from the Baltic countries and the eastern member states of the Union escalated.
close the loophole
Envoys from Poland and Lithuania worked to ensure that the original arms embargo text of 2014 was amended when it became apparent that weapons were still flowing into Russia.
EU countries sold Russia 39 million euros (£ 33 million) in arms and ammunition last year when the Kremlin prepared to enter Ukraine, according to European Commission data.
In addition to Germany and France, Italy was also responsible for sending € 22.5 million (£ 19 million) worth of weapons to Moscow after the European embargo, while Britain generated € 2.4 million in sales (£ 2 million). .
A secret network in Belarus. How did it disrupt the supplies of Russian forces?
When Russian forces first flowed across the Belarusian border into Ukraine, they intended to rely on the region’s extensive rail network for supplies and reinforcements.
But the Russians did not take into account the Belarusian railway saboteurs, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Beginning in the early days of military operation last February, a secret network of railroad workers, hackers and dissident security forces began disrupting railroads connecting Russia with Ukraine via Belarus, wreaking havoc on Russia’s supply lines.
The report found that railway saboteurs in Belarus played a role in fueling the logistical chaos that quickly swept over the Russians, leaving soldiers stranded on the front lines within days without food, fuel and ammunition.
In addition, members of this network described the attacks as simple but effective, as they targeted railway control rooms. For days on end, trains were paralyzed, forcing the Russians to try to resupply their forces by land.
Yury Ravavoy, a Belarusian activist and trade unionist who fled to Poland under threat of arrest during the anti-government protests that rocked Belarus in 2020, said the attacks had allowed Ukrainian forces to regroup for some time.
At the same time, the participants in the secret network refused to disclose exact details of how the attacks were carried out and who carried them out, citing the need for secrecy.
Three main groups took part, representing railway workers, security defectors and cyber specialists, said lt.col. Alexander Azarov, a former security official in Warsaw who heads the security force People, said.
Railway workers who were revolutionary-minded leaked details of Russian movements and the locations of major railway infrastructure.
Azarov said supporters on the ground reach out to carry out attacks, but there is no formal chain of command.
The third group, Cyber Partisans, consists of exiled IT personnel who have carried out numerous cyber attacks on the Belarusian government since 2020.
The first attack was launched by technology crackers, which infiltrated the railway’s computer network in the days before the military operation and rail traffic was disrupted before Russian forces crossed the border.
New York-based spokeswoman Yuliana Shemitowitz added that hacking into railroad computers was relatively easy because the railroad was still running Windows XP, an outdated version of the software with many vulnerabilities.
From February 26, two days after the start of the Russian military operation, a series of five sabotage attacks on control rooms almost completely stopped trains, said Sergei Vojtkovic, a former railway worker now living in Poland.
By February 28, satellite images began showing the 40-mile convoy of Russian trucks and tanks apparently on their way from Belarus to Kiev.
Within a week, the convoy was completely stopped because the vehicles ran out of fuel or broke down.
Since then, the Belarussian authorities have made extensive efforts to prevent attacks and detect vandals.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has also decided that damaging the railway infrastructure is an act of terrorism and a crime punishable by 20 years in prison.
Activists said dozens of railroad workers were randomly arrested and their phones were searched for evidence of their connection to the network.
It is noteworthy that according to human rights groups, there are at least 11 Belarusians in custody who are accused of participating in the attacks.