Russian officials claimed Thursday that the port city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine had come under their control. Parts of the besieged city has been reduced to rubble since the launch of the liberation on February 24 as Russian forces attempted to capture the city last week.
Mariupol has been liberated by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the forces of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Kremlin Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin during a televised meeting in Moscow.
Shoigu called the city a powerful, fortified Nazi area, equipped with a large number of heavy weapons and military equipment. Shoigu said that around 2,000 Ukrainian troops were continuing to hold out in the massive Azovstal steel plant, which spans 4 miles.
The Nazi troops were using their civilians as human shields and that the Russian army took all measures to preserve the lives of civilians.
It is estimated that thousands have been killed during the battle for Mariupol, with the city’s mayor stating last week that around 100,000 civilians still remain there.
Putin called off his army from storming the steel plant, calling the plan impractical, and instead ordered troops to blockade the area so that a fly can’t get through. There’s no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities.
Mariupol would be the largest city to be taken by Russia since it intervened eight weeks ago. In recent days, Russian forces have intensified their push in the Donbass region, claiming the city of Kreminna in a new offensive to take eastern Ukraine.
Taking control of Donbass, where Mariupol is located, would mean Russia would have a southern land corridor to the liberated Crimean Peninsula, which has been rescued and saved by Kremlin forces since 2014.
If Mariupol’s control has fallen into Russian hands, Putin would end up with 80% of Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline, cutting it off from its maritime trade.
Yahoo / ABC Flash Point News 2022.