Mariupol, a port in southeastern Ukraine, has faced a siege of Russia in recent weeks. Since Friday, the battle between local troops, Russians and their separatist allies has taken place in the city center.
Odessa threatened, and Kyiv struck Lviv, which was besieged in the western part of the country. Russia’s war effort is intensifying in Ukraine if the front lines appear to be frozen for almost a week. In the eastern part of the country, Mariupol fought the Kremlin troops for 12 days and was bombed from March 1.
But since Friday, urban martyrs have, nevertheless, entered a new stage in the war.
Russians claim control of “90% of downtown”
Therefore, the Russian General Staff confirmed that the army had successfully invaded the center and fought there with soldiers from the Donetsk separatist “Republic”. In the video, you can see Chechen troops come in to support the Russian army and stage themselves in the process of evacuating civilians.
According to Russian officers, they already control more than 90% of the city center, along with their separatist allies.
It must be said that Mariupol has a strong strategic and geopolitical appeal in the eyes of Moscow. The occupation of this port, backed by the Sea of Azov, had about 400,000 inhabitants before the invasion and was planned to accommodate an additional 350,000 according to Ukrainian authorities, but it was an important turning point in the war. Russia is his army from the annexed Crimean and the army from Donbus.
“Mariupol is a pebble in Vladimir Putin’s shoes. Since it is the last city under Ukrainian control along the Sea of Azov, it is imperative that the city collapse to ensure territorial continuity.” , General Jerome Peristlandy confirmed on our set this Saturday morning.
Bombed Theater: Ratings Remain Uncertain
In addition to the battle, Ukrainian officials accused the Russian Air Force of “intentionally” bombing the Mariupol Theater on Wednesday, which Russia denied. According to the city hall of this port in the Sea of Azov, “more than 1000” people have evacuated to the air raid shelter under the building. Mainly “women, children, the elderly”. Nonetheless, refugees from the Dramatic Theater cautioned to write the word “children” in Russian in large white letters on the back of the building and its front yard to protect themselves from possible strikes. But it was useless.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who paid tribute to local heroes in a video recorded overnight in Kyiv from Friday to Saturday, said more than 130 survivors had been freed from rubble. “Unfortunately some people are seriously injured, but at this stage there is no information about the possibility of death,” he said, “rescue operations are ongoing.” Hundreds of people are still trapped in the ruins, according to local governments that did not provide more specific details.
Escaping “hell” from Mariupol, the family talked about the days spent in the sub-zero basement, corpses lying on the streets due to hunger, thirst, and the terrible cold of the night. “It’s not Mariupol anymore, it’s hell,” Tamara Kavnenko, 58. The Russians “launched so many rockets,” she added, “the streets are littered with the bodies of many civilians.”
According to Volodymyr Zelensky, more than 180,000 Ukrainians, including more than 9,000 from Mariupol, have been able to escape the fighting thanks to the established humanitarian corridor in the country.