Azovstal Steel Works image depicting the Battle at Azovstal Steel Plant in Ukraine.

Azovstal Steel Works

Part of a series on 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine. [View Related Entries]

Updated Apr 22, 2022 at 06:11PM EDT by Zach.

Added Apr 22, 2022 at 08:51AM EDT by Owen.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.


The Azovstal Steel Works is a steel and metal-making plant in Mariupol, Ukraine that became a prominent battleground and holdout during the 2021-2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict. In early 2022, Russian forces tried to take over the plant, however, they did not toward the end of April 2022 due to the elaborate tunnel system beneath the region. The military action generated reactions and memes online, as well as widespread media coverage around the world.


Azovstal iron and steelworks is a steelmaking plant in the port city of Mariupol, Ukraine.[1] It was established in 1930 when Ukraine was still a part of the USSR. In the 1940s, production had to halt due to World War II. In 1991, after the independence of Ukraine, the plant became the property of the new country.


Russian Invasions

In 2014, the Russian military launched an operation to take Mariupol and bunkers at the plant were used for protection against the attacks.[1] This occurred around the same time as the Ukrainian Revolution and Russia's invasion of Crimea.

The Azovstal steel plant didn't surface in international news again until March 2022 amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict that escalated in late February 2022. On March 19th, 2022, Azovstal had reportedly been badly damaged after Russian forces invaded the city of Mariupol.[2] Videos surfaced on social media of the plant being attacked. In one video shared on March 19th, 2022, by Twitter[3] user lesiavasylenko, explosions can be seen and smoke rising from the building. Over the course of one month, the video received roughly 387,100 views and 7,400 likes (shown below).

The plant was left heavily damaged and contested going into the next week in March.[4] The attack was aimed at slowing Ukraine's economy.

On April 15th, The Guardian[5] reported that the Azovstal plant was being used as a hold-out for the Ukrainian army. According to the publication, the Ukrainian troops were surrounded by the Russian military seven weeks into the invasion. However, the steel plant was acting as a "fortress," wherein, the Russian army could not find the Ukrainian military due to the "enormous space with so many buildings." Additionally, the Azovstal plant had a system of tunnels beneath it that added to the difficulty for the Russian army. The Guardian also noted that President Putin's reasoning behind the invasion was to completely fulfill his "denazification" campaign (graphic shown below provided by The Guardian).

12 April - The Maxar satellite company claims to Russian-controlled territory Russian advances have observed evidence of battles at the site 3 km Mariupol 3 miles The steel works lie in an industrial area that covers more than 4.25 sq miles (11 sq km) Ukrainian forces, holed up in the heavily shelled complex, are surrounded by Russians Ukraine Mariupol Sea of Azov Russia Crimea Guardian graphic. Source: The Institute for the Study of War with AEI's Critical Threats Project. Note: latest data at 2130 GMT 14 April. Areas that ISW assesses Russian forces have operated or launched attacks against but do not control

On April 19th, 2022, Russia demanded for Ukrainian troops to leave Azovstal steelworks by noon that day.[6] The defense ministry was quoted saying, "All who lay down their arms are guaranteed to remain alive." The New York Times[7] reported that the Ukrainian forces inside vowed to fight until the “last drop of blood.”

On April 21st, 2022, Putin called off an invasion of Azovstal and instead declared victory.[8] He warranted the victory through the success of the Russian army's blockade of Azovstal, which kept all the army men and civilians inside its region stuck and isolated. However, distrust of the Russian government's declaration was palpable, with some saying that their withdrawal alluded their attacking troops' weakness due to prior battles which took place. Additionally, the prospect of, "climb[ing] into these catacombs and crawl[ing] underground" was stressed to Putin as dangerous by his advisors.[8] After the Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, declared victory over the city of Mariupol on taking Azovstal's administrative building, Putin ordered to seal the plant "so that a fly can’t get through" it.[9][10][11][12]

Memes regarding the Azovstal steel plant centered on the elaborate tunnel systems beneath it that the Ukrainian army was holding out in despite the Russian's best efforts. This alleged incompetence of the Russian army to navigate and overcoming these tunnels led to subsequent memes that poked fun at President Putin and his army.

For instance, on April 18th, 2022, Redditor POD-8 posted a meme to /r/NonCredibleDefense[13] that used the Saddam Hussein's Hiding Place to humorously represent the Azovstal tunnel system. Over the course of four days, it earned over 940 upvotes (shown below).

AVOZ's HIDING PLACE |Entrance hidden by Iron factory and rubble AZOV battalion 6ft Air vent Fan KAPWING

On April 20th, 2022, a 4chan thread was started on the /k/[14] imageboard that included both an accurate graphic of the Azovstal tunnel system (shown below, left) as well as a more elaborate, meme-centric one created on MS Paint (shown below, right). The graphic was also shared eight days prior, on April 13th, 2022, to the /r/NonCredibleDefense[15] subreddit. Similar poorly drawn Azovstal tunnel system images were shared on April 7th and 8th, 2022, however, the threads are no longer accessible.

IOn the surface are mile after mile of warehouses, furnaces, power plants and chimneys, providing cover for Ükrainian troops TUNNELS UNDER THE STEELWORKS I Deep underground is a vast network of bunkers and tunnels built during the Cold War to safeguard the steel plant's 40,000 workers in the event of a nuclear attack Tunnels are believed to be almost impossible to penetrate by bombing Tunnels are highly secure and stretch up to six storeys underground I The extensive tunnels allow the brigade to pop up and carry out guerrilla raids only way to clear the across Mariupol Perhaps the Graphic by JOHN LAWSON The maze-like system is thought to contain around 1,500 Ukrainian troops place out would be to use a chemical weapon, or chlorine gas Mock Azovstal Complex to trick chechen soldiers Copium extraction tower "Azovstal Com plex* Azovstal Complex Vatnik BBQ anon AL Ukrainian Pizza Deliveryboy Where is my ((yous?)) Kremlin --- cope stream 2 Dead Body Storage Marichka Edit Petrodollar machine (for fake warcrimes) (do not touch) Assembly Department nuclear waste Hunter Biden's (Chernobyl (Ukranian) Facility for harvesting Laptops (all of them) organs from civilians Fire pit for burning RU borscht receipes copium (еxp, 1917) Ab sweat crawlspace Nazi Flying Saucer Hangar Secret nuclear arms Dnieper 2 development plan Tomboy unbrainwashing cabinet /uhg/ headquarters Marichka's Knee-capping Gun Range Salo Science Technologies монолит Führerbunker (+ Hitler (He is actually alive)) American-sponsored biolab (Anti-Moskal Super-AIDS) Nazi Goose Bioweapon Aerodynamics Test Chamber American-sponsored biolab (COVID-19 Stepan Bandera Prayer Room WMDeez nuts ११ Saddam Hussein Miniature recreation of Donbass city for recreational shelling Meeting room (for planning war crimes) Marichka feet pics storage Teleport to Bucha and Brazil Van Gogh held permanently in his cell to paint monkes ( he is still alive) Zelensky's personal stash of HRT to help transition the Russian forces General Cloutier's Entirety of Poland Traktor storage (for acquiring Russian vehicles) room Power supply (/chug/ powered) Homosexual Chapel (gay marriages only) air chuck sneed lock Nanotech Kyiv (Formerly Kiev) (washing machine) LOLI 回目目且目目照 City Slicker, CIA ToT Penis Gnome (Formerly Kadyrovite) Mega-archives for storing Vatnik gore images (and Servant of the People in 4K, 120FPS) Schweiner's HQ They/them NATO globohomo catboy brigade VDV drop (miscalculation) happy serbian (he thinks that it's russian) Drone unboxing room Copium layer (Banana flavored) Bayraktar assembly C-- cube processing (Serb certified) Oryx (imprisoned) (KARA BOĞA variant) being forced to count equipment losses 24/7 Ukrainian control Russian control control Pallet storage and high-quality wood stolen from Shoigu Jeb! The Great AZovstal C-- Pit tactically regrouping 7I Northern forces Jeb! Grotny 1990 Dancing pig disco Ruins of Atlantis The Deep C-- Zone GREETINGS FROM TIIC FRONTLINCS MOCKBA Zelensky's real To Serbia Chapaev location FELLOW UKRANIANS KYPCK Hitlers lost testicle Washing machine vault (booby trapped) Russian losses simulation/photoshoot chamber BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN A A.n BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN BANAN in MSS ECUADOR

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 2 total

Recent Images 14 total

Top Comments


in reply to ThiccLoli

I mean, yeah, but the fact Russia can't wrap this up in a short time frame is embarrassing, and takes forces away from the main front to ensure they can't escape.

Sure, they can and will eventually siege Azov out, but that means forces are dedicated to the siege that could be committing warcrimes fighting elsewhere, and shows they don't have any dedicated non-nuclear bunker-busting munitions, something any reasonable first-rate military should have.

All this does is continue to confirm something we already knew: the Russian military is a paper tiger, rotten to the core by nepotism and corruption, and that they would be wholly reliant on nuclear threats in any significant conflict with NATO. This means Sweden, Finland, and potentially Moldova have an easy choice to make in the near future, if they value their sovereignty.

TL;DR: Russia should have dealt with this by now. The fact that they haven't is telling.


The FP is somehow trying to make this look like a "victory" for the Ukrainians, but if you followed the developments that lead to this situation you'd know how desperate their situation is. First, they tried to get evacuated with helicopters but they were destroyed by the Russians. Then they tried to break through and got kicked back inside. They accused the Russians of using chemical weapons but that was never proven.

Putin offered them to surrender multiple times, and after they refused, the plant got bombed from the skies. On Easter, the Azovites begged the Pope to rescue them, but no answer. Then they begged the Islamic world to save them and take them to a "third party country", but no answer. Finally, when Shoigu was about to order the full clearing of the plant's underground complex, Putin told him to just seal it, probably with the intention of starving them out.

We still get videos of them from underground the plant. Just now they released one where they showed their wounded being treated under some blankets


+ Add a Comment

Comments (16)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Yo Yo! You must login or signup first!