Ukraines pro-Russian separatist rebels are fighting with the Ukrainian side in the city of Mariupol, a port city in southeastern Ukraine, backed by Russian troops, AFP news agency reported on the 18th.
According to the report, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation said that “a unit of the Peoples Republic of Donetsk, backed by the Russian army, is fighting nationalists as they close the siege in the center of the city.”
DPR is an organization established by pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine after Russia forcibly annexed Ukraines Crimea peninsula in 2014 to seek independence.
Since then, they have been fighting sporadically with the Ukrainian government forces, and they are also fighting on the Russian side with the Ukrainian forces during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian army has been bombarding the city for more than three weeks to capture the port city of Mariupol, a strategically important point linking the Crimean Peninsula with areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists such as Donetsk and Luhansk.
[Photo source: Yonhap News / provided by Maxa Technologies]