Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in the battle for Mariupol on Thursday. Newly released satellite photographs from just outside the city revealed an alleged gravesite where a local official claimed Russian troops were dumping dead people.
Putin said in a televised conference with his military minister that he has ordered his forces to blockade the Azovstal steel complex so closely that “not even a fly” could pass through.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Mariupol had been “liberated,” a term his government has used to portray its invasion as a humanitarian mission to save Ukraine from “neo-Nazis.”
However, US senior Defense Department official stated that US will not be present on the ground or in