Battle for port city: Selenskyj does not give up Mariupol as lost

As of: 04/21/2022 8:47 p.m

The city of Mariupol, controlled by Russian troops and largely destroyed, is not yet lost, according to the Ukrainian head of state Zelenskyy. There are ways to liberate the port city – also militarily.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does not believe that the port city of Mariupol, which is now controlled by Russia according to the Kremlin, is completely lost. “The situation is difficult, the situation is bad,” he told journalists in Kyiv, according to local media.

There are several ways to liberate the city. “There is a military path to prepare for, and we are preparing,” Zelenskyy continued. This requires the help of Western partners. “It’s difficult for ourselves, we need appropriate weapons, but let’s think about it,” he said. Another way is a diplomatic, humanitarian one.

Proposed exchange of wounded

Kyiv has already proposed several options to Moscow, including an exchange of “wounded for wounded”. “There are over 400 wounded in that citadel. That’s just the soldiers.” There are also injured civilians. “We have decisive days ahead of us, the decisive battle for our state, for our country, for the Ukrainian Donbass,” said Zelenskyy.

Mariupol was encircled by enemy troops shortly after the start of the Russian war of aggression two months ago. Only in the Azovstal steelworks are several hundred Ukrainian soldiers still holding out in bunkers. According to Ukrainian information, there are also around 1,000 civilians with them.

Russian soldiers cordon off area around steel plant in Mariupol

Vassili Golod, ARD Warsaw, daily news at 5:00 p.m., April 21, 2022

Putin does not want the steel mill to be stormed

Russian President Vladimir Putin had declared the city conquered and ordered that the facilities not be stormed. Some of those trapped had declared that they did not want to give up and would hand themselves over to Russian captivity. It is unclear how large their stocks of food and ammunition are.

Putin ordered the plant to be besieged – so tightly that “a fly can no longer get out.” Storming the complex with numerous underground tunnels does not make sense, said Putin. “We have to think about the lives and health of our soldiers and officers,” said the head of state. He again called on the people in the steel mill to lay down their arms.

Shaded in white: advance of the Russian army. Shaded in green: Russian-backed separatist areas. Crimea: annexed by Russia.

Image: ISW/04/19/2022

Appeals for escape corridor

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry urged the establishment of an escape corridor for civilians and injured militants from the Mariupol Steel Plant. “They have almost no food, no water and no essential medicines,” the ministry said in online networks. Ukrainian authorities fear more than 20,000 people may have died in Mariupol.

Meanwhile, a commander of the ultra-nationalist Ukrainian Azov Battalion, Svyatoslav Palamar, announced that his unit would not surrender with their weapons. Instead, he asked for “security guarantees” from the “civilized world”.

“hard to bear”

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock accused the Russian troops of “bleeding out, starving” of Mariupol. The situation in the city is “not only highly dramatic, it is almost unbearable,” she said during a visit to Estonia and announced that the EU would continue to increase the pressure on Russia.

conflicting parties as a source

In the current situation, information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body.

source site