Photo by Dmytro Kozatsky | The Azovstal plant, Mariupol. May 16, 2022 | A Ukrainian soldier stands in the ruins of the Azovstal metalworking plant in Mariupol.
The Azovstal plant became one of the most emblematic points of the Siege of Mariupol during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The plant’s tunnels and bunkers are capable of withstanding a nuclear attack, making it an extremely defendable position. The battle began on 24 February 2022 and ended on 20 May 2022, after Ukrainian forces were ordered to cease hostilities. The Red Cross described the situation as “apocalyptic.” About 21,000 civilians were killed, and at least 95% of the city was destroyed by Russian bombardments.