Mariupol fighters ignore demand for surrender
Ukraine has vowed its forces will “fight to the end” in the besieged port city of MariupolAfter a Russian ultimatum to surrender the remaining Ukrainian troops ended.
Moscow is moving closer to full control of the city in what will be its biggest prize since it invaded Ukraine in February. Relentless bombings and street fighting have devastated much of the city, with at least 21,000 dead by Ukraine’s estimates.
“The city still hasn’t fallen,” said the prime minister, Denis Shyamal, hours after the deadline for fighters in Moscow to surrender and surrender was surrounded by a massive, fortress-like steelworks. “We still have our military forces, our soldiers. So they will fight till the end,” he told ABC.
The fall of Mariupol, the largest trading port in the Azov Sea – from which Ukraine exports grain, iron, steel and heavy machinery – would be an economic blow for Kyiv and a symbolic and strategic victory for Russia, which is located in the Donbass region. connects to. In 2014 it was merged with the Crimea region.
The situation in Mariupol is “very difficult”, Zelensky told the Ukrainska Pravda news portal. “Our soldiers are blocked; The wounded are blocked. There is a humanitarian crisis… still, people are defending themselves.”
Russia gave remaining Ukrainian troops a deadline of 6 a.m. (3 a.m. GMT) to lay down their weapons and a 1 p.m. (10 a.m. GMT) deadline to evacuate Ukrainians hiding in the smoldering Azovstal steelworks. The fighters passed without any sign of compliance.
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