Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to cancel plans to storm the Azovstal plant in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
The Russian leader said he wanted the plant to continue to be securely blockaded instead.
Putin gave the order to his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in a televised meeting at the Kremlin.
“I consider the proposed storming of the industrial zone unnecessary,” Putin told Shoigu. “I order you to cancel it.”
“Block off this industrial area so that not even a fly can escape,” Putin said, adding it would be “impractical” to storm the entire plant.
The Russian leader welcomed Shoigu’s assertion that Moscow’s troops were now in full control of the rest of the city of Mariupol. Ukraine has not commented on the latest claim.
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