Donetsk, Mar 9 – DAN. DPR People's Militia has destroyed 12 Ukrainian fire positions in Mariupol as the Republic's forces take control over the city step by step, the DPR Defence's deputy chief of staff Eduard Basurin said.

"In urban combat in Mariupol our defenders destroyed 12 Ukrainian fire positions in residential houses, where Azov units were located. Our defenders evacuated 16 civilians, they are now safe," he said.

Eight marines of the 36th Ukrainian brigade defected to the DPR.

"DPR made a 1-km advance into Mariupol," Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed.

Currently, humanitarian corridors are open to evacuate civilians from the city that is encircled by DPR and Russian forces. Nationalistic units try to prevent the evacuation as they intend to use unarmed residents as their shield. *ot