December 1, 2022

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Putin blockades hundreds of civilians inside Mariupol steel plant | USA TODAY

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President Putin ordered his defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, to blockade the Azovstal steelworks, trapping hundreds of women and children inside.

RELATED: Zelenskyy condemns Russian army as Mariupol future remains unknown

The fight to take Mariupol has intensified while more than 1,000 civilians and Ukrainian troops are reportedly taking shelter at the Azovstal Steel mill in the Sea of Azov port city of Mariupol, Reuters reports.

Russia has reinforced its invading force in Ukraine with about 11 battalion tactical groups in recent days, a senior defense official said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe the department’s assessments. The reinforcements, as many as 11,000 troops, come as Russia continues to move more heavy artillery, helicopters and command and control units into the region, the official said.

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