Ukraine: POW's to be paraded through Moscow predicts expert
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Ukrainian troops who have been captured by Russia could be paraded through the streets as part of Moscow’s annual World War 2 Victory Day celebrations, according to the former Head of the British Army. Lord Dannatt believes the Russian Government could look to use prisoners of war from Ukraine as a propaganda tool to claim some sort of “victory” over Kyiv.
Lord Dannatt told Sky News: “I think we are now seeing the final days of this tragic and terrible episode going on at the Avozstal steelworks.
“If you think back a week or so ago, maybe 10 days ago, Putin announced that he would seal it off so not even a fly will be able to get in and out.
“Well, that was an indication that they were finally the Russians are finding it very difficult to finally subdue the garrison there.
“They have now come to the conclusion that they’ve got to have some form of victory to celebrate on Monday, and it would appear that they have now resumed the direct attack on the steelworks in order to try and snuff out the remaining parts of the resistance there.
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“So that they can claim on Monday that they have captured Mariupol and therefore they have completed their land corridor from Crimea through the Donbas into Russia proper.
“I mean, this is a tragedy that’s unfolding in front of our eyes.
“Some of the civilians may get out over two or three days ceasefire which is being talked about.
“For the soldiers in there, I’m afraid the prospect is very grim and I think we may also see the very ugly sight of Ukrainian prisoners being paraded through Moscow next Monday at their victory parade.
“It happened with the Germans at the end of the Second World War, and an awful feeling it’s going to happen again on Monday.”
Ukraine: Russian forces attack Ukrainian troops in Popasna
After failing to capture the capital Kyiv in the early weeks of a war that has killed thousands and flattened cities, towns and villages, Russia has accelerated its attacks across southern and eastern Ukraine.
Russia’s military said it would pause military activity at the Azovstal steelworks in the port city of Mariupol during Thursday daytime and the following two days to allow civilians to leave.
In an early-morning address, Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine stood ready to ensure a ceasefire in Mariupol.
“It will take time simply to lift people out of those basements, out of those underground shelters. In the present conditions, we cannot use heavy equipment to clear the rubble away. It all has to be done by hand,” Zelensky said.
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Ukrainian fighters inside Azovstal are fighting “difficult, bloody battles” against Russian troops, Denis Prokopenko, a commander with Ukraine’s Azov regiment, said late on Wednesday.
Ukraine’s military general staff said Russia’s assault on the sprawling Soviet-era plant included air support.
Moscow declared victory in Mariupol on April 21 after weeks of siege and shelling, but resistance by Ukrainian forces in Azovstal has prevented Russia from completely overrunning the city.
Mariupol is a major target in Russia’s efforts to cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea – vital for its grain and metals exports – and link Russian-controlled territory in the east of the country to Crimea, seized by Moscow in 2014.
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