Donetsk, Mar 10 - DAN. Donetsk People’s Republic militiamen have destroyed 22 enemy fire positions and up to 40 gunmen of nationalistic groups in street fights for Mariupol, DPR People’s Militia deputy commander Eduard Basurin said on Thursday.

“Militiamen captured two BM-21 “Grad” multiple rocket launchers which had been shelling residential areas,” Basurin said. “Our defenders have evacuated eight civilians, including two children from liberated buildings where nationalists from the Azov unit were deployed.”

In Mariupol, another 26 servicemen from the Ukrainian army’s 36th Marine Brigade and 12th National Guard Brigade voluntarily laid down arms. Overall, 140 Ukrainian servicemen have surrendered since the beginning of the special military operation, he said.

Mariupol is currently blocked. Moscow and Donetsk opened humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians, but the DPR militia and the Russian Defense Ministry reported that nationalists prevent people from using them. In some cases, they keep civilians by force next to their positions or weapon sites, using people as a human shield.

On February 24, President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation aimed at demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. On the same day, the DPR and LPR forces launched a liberation movement supported by Russian armed forces. *jk