Russia has started to storm the the Azovstal steel plant, which is the last pocket of resistance in the bombed out city of Mariupol.
The deputy commander of the Azov Regiment, which is holed up in the plant, confirmed to AP that Russian forces have started to storm the plant on Tuesday. The attack is happening even as hundreds of civilians are still stranded at the plant, according to Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.
A total of 127 civilians were evacuated from the plant to Ukrainian-held territory in a UN-assisted evacuation effort. Osnat Lubriani, the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, said 101 people among those evacuated have seen daylight after more than two months.
The Azovstal steel plant has a network of tunnels that has allowed people to take shelter. It has also helped Ukrainian fighters in their resistance.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered his military not to storm the plant, but rather block it off.
(With AP inputs)