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2020 Russian navy parade (State Photo)

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Russia Reopens Mariupol Port Week After Azov Mass Surrender

Civilian traffic is welcome in Mariupol after Russia secured total control of the city following a mass Azov battalion surrender last week

Russia has lifted the mine warning for the Mariupol port and reopened it to civilian traffic the week after the controversial Azov battalion surrendered from its entrenched position in the Azovstal steel mill to the east of the city.

The Russian defense ministry said today that civil vessels may again use the Azov Sea port in Mariupol, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, the development came after Russia took full control of the city last week following the surrender of more than 2,400 Ukrainian fighters. Most reports indicate these were overwhelmingly fighters in the controversial Azov battalion.

Vladimir Putin views a naval parade in 2021 (State Photo)

The Azov battalion had been deeply embedded in the Azovstal steel mill, a gargantuan facility that had been in continuous operation since it was reactivated by the Soviet Union after Ukraine was recaptured from Nazi Germany during World War II.

Fighters were strewn throughout Cold War-era bunkers beneath the steelworks that were created to allow the factory to continue production in the event of nuclear war.

While some international media outlets characterized the surrender as a withdrawal or evacuation, Russia eventually produced a video showing 531 Azov battalion members surrender en masse.

The video reveals some of the surrendering fighters have neo-Nazi tattoos.

Neo-Nazi iconography has long been associated with the Azov battalion, though international media claims the presence of far right extremists in the military unite has been over exaggerated. Around the beginning of the conflict, the BBC claimed only around 10% of the fighters harbored neo-Nazi beliefs.

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Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 with the goals of “denazifying” Ukraine and forcing it to adopt a neutral posture regarding NATO and the European Union following a years long standoff over disputed territories in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow claims it launched a “special military operation” to protect ethnic Russians from Ukrainian state violence in the breakaway republics Luhansk and Donetsk, while Kiev and its allies maintain that the invasion was unprovoked.

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Tom Pappert is the Editor-in-Chief of Valiant News. He has worked in political news and commentary since 2015, when he began supporting Trump on a left wing college campus. You can follow him on Twitter @realTomPappert, on Gab @realGodEmperorTrump, on Facebook at Tom Pappert, or see his other social media by visiting tompappert.com. Tips can be sent securely to [email protected].

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