'Surrender or die': Russian military tells Ukrainian troops in Mariupol

S7 News

Capturing Mariupol is a key strategic goal, which allows Russia to secure a land corridor to Crimea; it would also free Russian forces from the siege and allow them to concentrate on an offensive in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland called Donbas

Moscow: The Russian military has told Ukrainian troops in the besieged port of Mariupol that if they lay down their weapons they will be allowed to live. The Russian Defense Ministry made the announcement early Sunday.

Mariupol appeared on the brink of falling to Russian forces after seven weeks under siege, a development that would give Moscow a crucial success in Ukraine following a botched attempt to storm the capital and the loss of the Russian navy's Black Sea flagship.

The Russian military estimates that about 2,500 Ukrainian fighters are holding out at a defunct steel plant with a warren of underground tunnels. This is the last pocket of resistance in the city and the encircled Ukrainians at the giant Azovstal steel factory have been given time until 1 pm (1000 GMT) to surrender.

Capturing Mariupol is a key strategic goal for Russia, which allows it to secure a land corridor to Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014. The fall of Mariupol would also free the Russian forces involved in the siege for a planned offensive in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland called Donbas.

The giant Azovstal steel mill -- where the Ukrainians are holed up -- stretches over an area of more than 11 square km (over 4.2 square miles). According to Russians, intercepted communications indicate there are about 400 foreign mercenaries along with the Ukrainian troops in the defucnt mill, a claim that couldn't be independently verified.

Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar described Mariupol as a “shield defending Ukraine.”

The ongoing siege and relentless bombardment of Mariupol has come at a terrible cost, with officials estimating Russians had killed at least 21,000 people. Just 120,000 people remain in the city, out of a pre-war population of 450,000. Incidentally, the city has a land area about half the size of Hong Kong.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the city's fall could scuttle any attempt at negotiated peace.

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskyy called on the West to send more heavy weapons immediately if there is any chance of saving the city, adding Russia “is deliberately trying to destroy everyone who is there”.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who met with Vladimir Putin this past week in Moscow — the first European leader to do so since the invasion began on Februry 24 — said the Russian president has “his own war logic” on Ukraine.

In an interview on NBC's “Meet the Press”, Nehammer said he thinks Putin believes he is winning the war and “we have to look in his eyes and we have to confront him with that, with what we see in Ukraine''.


Post a Comment

* Please Don't Spam Here. All the Comments are Reviewed by Admin.
Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !
To Top