"The operation began today at 5 a.m. The order to start the operation was given by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. The operation consisted of several stages: first, the assault team - Azov battalion - attacked the terrorists' strongholds. Troops of the National Guard and Dnipro-1 battalion thrown a cordon. The Army of Ukraine also set up a perimeter around the city to prevent mass ex-filtration of the terrorists and export of weapons," he said.
According to Gerashchenko, "the operation was successful. Initially, concrete fortifications of the terrorists were destroyed, and after hand grenades were used, we showed them the seriousness of our intentions. About 30 terrorists were detained and taken to a safe place. Currently the pin-point sweep continues and the terrorists are hiding in houses and cellars to save their lives."
Moreover, Gerashchenko noted that "one of the leaders of Mariupol terrorists nicknamed Boroda (Beard) was found in the basement and after a warning that if he does not come out, a grenade will be thrown in there, he surrendered."
According to Gerashchenko, the Ukrainian security forces had their own spies in the terrorist camp who reported on the morale and level of training of the militants. Also earlier several terrorists were captured and they gave up the whereabouts of sniper points, mines, and bombs. In addition, Ukrainian security forces knew about the building where the terrorists set two bombs, so they safely blew them up with no casualties.
"Ukrainian flags are being raised in all administrative buildings of Mariupol. First of all, the flag was raised over the building of the Mariupol City Council. The city is returning to regular life," the Minister's adviser said.
Gerashchenko stated that the main achievement of the ATO in Mariupol was that none of the civilians came out to defend the terrorists. "There was not a single person who came to support or protect the terrorists," he said.
It was reported earlier that a planned operation to eliminate the DPR terrorist strongholds led by criminal boss nicknamed Chechen began in Mariupol this morning. During the active phase of the anti-terrorist operation in Mariupol four officers were wounded.