The operation to release units from the Azovstal metallurgical enterprise in Mariupol will require the efforts of a significant number of troops and may lead to significant losses, Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksiy Hromov said.
"Today, the deblocking operation will require the efforts of a significant number of troops, since the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are located at a distance of 150 to 200 kilometers from Mariupol. The enemy has also created an extensive system of engineering fences and defense lines, which will lead to significant losses on the part of our troops," Hromov said at a briefing at the Ukraine media center in Kyiv on Wednesday.
He also said that communication with the units of the defense forces, which are heroically holding positions, is being maintained.
At the same time, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Maliar said that "if there were at least one opportunity to de-blockade Mariupol by military means, it would be used by the country's leadership."
"The Armed Forces of Ukraine today are doing everything possible to make such an opportunity appear in the visible future, so that it happens as quickly as possible," Maliar said.