Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said this during a nationwide information marathon, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
Asked by the host whether a real breakthrough at Azovstal is possible and how strong this structure is, Boichenko said: "Unfortunately, today contact with the guys has been lost. There is no contact in order to understand what is happening there, whether they are they safe or not. We were in contact yesterday, but today, unfortunately, I can't comment on anything. We pray for our heroic guys and I thank them for the feat they have done today for our whole country - they held back the enemy and gave us more time to prepare. And they are real, courageous and heroic defenders of Mariupol. We thank them for that."
He recalled that heavy fighting is taking place in the besieged port city every day on the territory of "our Azovstal fortress."
"Brave guys are defending this fortress. But it is very difficult, because they [Russian forces] are shelling this fortress from heavy artillery, tanks, and aircraft. Ships are also firing at this fortress. But we must understand that locals, civilians are staying there today," Boichenko added.
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