This Sunday, Russia has given a ultimatum to the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. He had asked the last Ukrainian soldiers entrenched there to give up the fight before 1:00 p.m. or else “they will test their fate”the Russian Defense Ministry has assured in a statement.
“All those who have laid down their arms will have the guarantee of saving their lives (…) It is their only chance,” the ministry had indicated via Telegram.
Far from accepting surrender, the Ukrainian troops remain in the besieged city, and are now subject to uncertainty about when and how will the russian army respond against them.
The conquest of Mariupol, where the situation is “inhuman” according to the Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenski, it would be an important victory for Moscow in this conflict.
Ukraine replies that “they will fight to the end”
After receiving the ultimatum from Russia, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhalhas ensured that the Ukrainian soldiers they will fight “until the end” in the besieged city of Mariupol, and has ruled out the capitulation demanded by Moscow.
Likewise, Shmyhal maintains that the city “has not fallen”: “Our soldiers are still there and they will fight to the end. For now they are still in Mariupol,” he added in an interview with the US network ABC.
Likewise, the Ukrainian Prime Minister assures that the situation in this city is critical, since the citizens of the Ukrainian town “they have no water, no food, no heating or electricity” and, therefore, has made a appeal to allies of Ukraine to “help stop” this crisis.
Previously, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, had already refused to accept the Russian claims of the capitulation of such a city strategic such as Mariupol, one of the main goals of the Russians in their effort to achieve total control of the donbas region and form a land corridor in the east of the country from the annexed Crimean peninsula.
Moreover, the Ukrainian prime minister already warned this Saturday that “the elimination” of soldiers in Mariupol “would put an end to any peace negotiations” with Moscow. In this sense, he admitted that if this happens, Russia and Ukraine would find themselves in a “dead end”. The conquest of Mariupol would be an important victory for Moscow.
For Mariupol, the Ukrainian president has pointed out that there was only “two options“: the supply since the Occidental countries all weapons necessary” to break the long siege of the city or “the way of negotiation” in which “the role of the allies must be equally decisive”.
Russia claims to control almost the entire city
The Kremlin claims to control the entire Mariupol urban area. If he takes control of the port, he would be sure to have control of the coast of the sea of azov and a direct broker towards the Crimean peninsula, annexed to Russia in 2014.
“The Russian Armed Forces offer the militants of the nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries blockaded in Mariupol to put an end to the hostilities and lay down their arms from 0600 Moscow time (5:00 a.m. in Spain) on Sunday, April 17, their lives will be spared,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in that statement.
The reason for this offer of a ceasefire, as explained in the letter by the head of Russia’s National Defense, Mikhail Mizintsevwas due to Russian troops reportedly intercepted the content of Ukrainian radio communications, that they would be in a “desperate situation, practically without food or water”. In this sense, the last Ukrainian resisters entrenched themselves in the metallurgical plant of Azovstal and in other factories in the city.
In contrast, the Russian army has intensified its attacks throughout the country as it prepares its major offensive in Donbas.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.