Russia has reported that its troops explored the abandoned Azovstal plant and say they discovered plentiful supplies of food, water and equipment left by the Azov Battalion after their surrender.

Last week, after seizing Mariupol, Russian sappers have cleared the area of mines and destroyed over 12,000 explosives, adding that the port city has now returned to normal activity.

Also read: Ready to provide global food aid but with condition: Vladimir Putin on food crisis

Members of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said they found entire workshops and plentiful food supplies in the catacombs of the city’s Azovstal metallurgical plant, suggesting that hundreds of holed-up Azov fighters there did not need to surrender.

In a video released by the militia from their explorations of the plant found 41 workshops, 80 auxiliary buildings and 22 canteens along with large workshops for allegedly producing explosives, including blast furnaces and rolling mills.

Also read: How US military may react to Finland and Sweden’s NATO entry

Pro-Russian soldiers also found a large network of tunnels stretching for kilometres under the Azovstal plant, calling it a “city within a city.”

There was also a plentiful supply of drinking water that would have lasted the Azov Battalion for at least several more weeks.

According to the militia, there was also a healthy supply of food, medicine and electricity.

Also read: ‘An obvious genocide’: Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Russia over bombing Donbas region

Pro-Russian soldiers said they found pasta, sunflower oil, stewed pork, sardines, and different types of canned goods.

It is also said that the Azov fighters apparently communicated with the use of portable satellite routers after a Starlink router was found in a pickup truck.

Also read: A new Axis? What Russia stands to gain from closer ties with China

Their barracks were located on the lower levels of the Azovstal plant and the DPR claimed they tried to destroy all evidence of their activities before surrendering to Russian troops last week.

The DPR militia said they found electric devices such as phones and laptops that had been destroyed or wiped clean before the Azov soldiers gave themselves up.