Donetsk, Apr 12 - DAN. – A group of encircled Ukrainian gunmen at the Mariupol-based Ilyich Plant tried to fight its way out, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.

“During the hours of darkness on Monday, the remaining Ukrainian army units on the premises of the Ilyich Plant made an unsuccessful attempt to escape from the city,” Konashenkov said. “Up to 100 Ukrainian servicemen riding in armored vehicles attempted to battle their way from the plant and leave the city in the northern direction.”

The attempt was foiled by air and artillery strikes. Three Ukrainian tanks, five infantry fighting vehicles, seven vehicles and up to 50 personnel were destroyed. Another 42 Ukrainian servicemen surrendered, he added.

At present, the city residential area is as good as free from gunmen; the coalition has also taken the Mariupol port under control. Assault squads have been prepared to neutralize the nationalistic formations at the large industrial facility “Azovstal.”  *jk