The CEO of the firm that own Azovstal Iron & Steel Works in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol says the facility had started preparing for a possible Russian invasion in 2014, Sky News reported.
In an interview with the British news agency, CEO of the Mariupol-based mining and metallurgy group Metinvest Holding, Yuriy Ryzhenkov, said “The situation there is, I would say, a humanitarian catastrophe.”
He noted that he wasn’t sure how many people were still at the plant, but that Azovstal has enough space in its bomb shelters for 4,000 people.
“We always kept at least two to three weeks stocks of food and water there,” Ryzhenkov said. “That allowed the people of Mariupol to stay there for such a long time… two months, and I’m pretty sure that the stocks are running out.”
He added that Russian offers of providing humanitarian corridors had not worked and that people who had tried to leave the plant “were shot at”.
Russian attacks against the Azovstal steel plant continue. Major Serhiy Volyna of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade called the situation “very difficult”.
The Azovstal steel plant, which is the last major bastion of Ukrainian defense in the destroyed city of Mariupol, is sheltering an estimated 1,000 Ukrainian civilians as well as 500 wounded Ukrainian servicemen.