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Russian top brass confirms Mariupol seaport cleared of mines and back in business

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The port of Mariupol has been completely cleared of mines and has fully returned to its normal operations, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

“Measures to clear mines and to demilitarize the seaport of Mariupol – liberated from Ukrainian militants – in the Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR], have been completed and the port has gone back to its regular operational activities,” he informed.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday that specialists from the Black Sea Fleet and field engineers had wrapped up their work to clear the Mariupol seaport zone of mines. Over 12,000 explosive devices and weapons abandoned by Ukrainian militants were uncovered and immobilized.

Russian personnel have also cleared approach canals and internal water areas of sunken vessels and other navigational obstacles, in addition to demilitarizing the port. Russia’s field engineers have also thoroughly demined the coastline of the Sea of Azov adjacent to the Mariupol seaport.

Russia’s military operation in Donbass

The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military in recent months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.

Russian President Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.

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