In addition to controlling the Donbas corridor, Moscow warns that the objective will be to leave Ukraine without access to the sea and reach Transnistria
Thanks to images obtained by satellite, in the town of Mangush, located 20 kilometers from Mariupol, a huge mass grave apparently excavated by the Russian Army has been discovered. The mayor of Mariupol, Vadim Boichenko, claims to have evidence that the bodies of civilians killed during the offensive and the siege of the city were piled up in several layers and has posted on his Telegram account the photos taken from space by the Maxar company. A finding that coincided with the announcement that the strategy of Russian conquest will seek to leave Ukraine without access to the sea, which would condemn the country to lose one of the commercial engines of its economy.
The burial detected in the vicinity of Mariúpol could house between 3,000 and 9,000 corpses. Boichenko justified the calculation by comparing the size of this grave with that found in Bucha, near kyiv, which was 20 times smaller. Burials in Mangush, according to local sources, began after March 23 with the first 5,000 deaths caused by bombing, fires and attacks by Russian troops and Donbas separatist rebels.
Later, as shown by the satellite, the trench increased until today, reaching a length of about 300 meters. The municipality of Mariúpol puts the total number of deaths in the city and surroundings at 22,000 since last February 25, the day after the offensive on Ukraine began. The city was besieged on March 1.
The fighting and continuous bombing have lasted for almost two months. There are also many wounded without medical attention and a humanitarian situation that has put part of the population on the verge of death by famine. Humanitarian corridors, many of them organized by Moscow to get people out of Russia, have so far failed to achieve a full evacuation.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Thursday that Mariupol is already under Russian control, except for the Azovstal steelworks, where a group of Ukrainian fighters is holding out and in whose basements it is estimated that there are more than 1,000 civilians. All of kyiv’s efforts are now focused on achieving a complete evacuation. The Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Irina Vereshuk, in charge of organizing the humanitarian corridors, denounced this Friday that the Russian troops refuse to promote the evacuations. “They have opened a corridor for the Ukrainian military to surrender, but they refuse to open it for civilians.”
The target expands
According to the statements of Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of the Central Military Region of Russia, the current campaign on Ukrainian soil seeks to gain control, not only of the east of the country, but also of its southern part. “Since the start of the second phase of the special operation, which began two days ago, one of the objectives of the Russian army is to establish full control over Donbas and southern Ukraine,” he said during a meeting of companies from the Military Industrial Complex. in Yekaterinburg.
Minnekayev also pointed to the need to control, not only the corridor that connects Donbas with Crimea, but also the one that connects Kherson and Mykolaiv, through Odessa, with the Moldovan separatist region of Transnistria, which would mean leaving Ukraine with no way out or to the Black Sea or the Azov Sea. It would be left without important strategic enclaves for its economy. While for Russia its control would guarantee not only the subjugation of Ukraine but would also be a clear brake on the influence of the West. “The control of southern Ukraine is also a corridor to Transnistria, where we also observe cases of oppression of the Russian-speaking population,” added the Russian deputy commander in another clear warning to navigators.
In its daily part, the General Staff of the Ukrainian troops reported this Friday that the Russian Army “continues to try to break through our defenses south and west of Izium to then advance south, towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. From the east it presses on Popasna and Rubizhne, from the southeast it tries to advance towards Ocheretyne and from the south towards Velyka Novosilka». These movements suggest that the objective is to pocket the Ukrainian troops. All the towns near the line of contact under the control of kyiv continue to be bombed. Limán, whose hospital ended in flames, is the one that suffered the most artillery attacks this Friday.
Moldova responds with a step forward to enter the EU
Using as an excuse the latent conflict that exists between Chisnau (the capital of Moldova) and its autonomous separatist territory of Transnistria, which is mostly Russian-speaking, for months now -since the first day of the Russian onslaught on Ukraine, in fact- that the West He has been warning that this area, even the entire country, could be Putin’s desire. In response, the Moldovan Prime Minister, Natalia Gavrilita delivered this Friday to the ambassador of the European Union (EU) in Moldova, Jänis Maeiks, the first questionnaire to acquire the status of a candidate for membership of the community club. The ceremony was held in the Cabinet of the Presidency, in the presence of the Head of State, Maia Sandu. “We have taken another step towards our European future. We are ready to move to a European country,” Gavrilita said.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.