Ukrainian soldiers rule out surrender to Russian siege in Mariupol

Ukrainian soldiers rule out surrender to Russian siege in Mariupol

The Ukrainian General Staff reported this Sunday that the advance of Russian troops continues throughout the east of the country; He also indicated that there will be no humanitarian corridors in Mariúpol this April 17

“They will fight to the end,” says Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, referring to the Ukrainian soldiers defending the port city of Mariupol against the siege of the Russian army that wants to control the entire Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

In the last hours, the Russian army imposed an ultimatum for the Ukrainian soldiers defending Mariupol. He demanded their surrender in exchange for guarantees of safety and respect for their lives. However, the beleaguered military refused to surrender.

“The city has not fallen. Our soldiers are still there and they will fight to the end. For now they are still in Mariúpol,” Shmyhal assured in an interview with the US network ABC.

The official stressed that in the almost two months that have passed since Russia decided to invade Ukraine, no major city has fallen.

“Not a single great city has fallen. Only Kherson is under the control of the Russian forces, but all other cities are under the control of Ukraine,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Russian government accuses Ukraine’s president, Volodimir Zelensky, of not allowing his soldiers to accept surrender and forcing them to keep up the fight to the end, at the cost of their lives.

The next step for the Russian army could be a landing, as Ukraine warns that Russia is making preparations for naval forces to land in Mariupol.

“In the last 24 hours, the enemy launched air strikes on Mariupol, there were assaults on the port. We also check information about the enemy’s preparations for a naval landing operation. Mariupol resists, the Armed Forces are strongly defending it,” exclaimed Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar.

He described Mariúpol as the “shield that defends Ukraine” and recalled that all Russian troops are concentrated in this area instead of advancing towards other regions of Ukraine.

Humanitarian corridors closed in Mariupol

Since Russia and Ukraine did not reach an agreement to reduce the fighting, the organizations that collaborate with humanitarian aid in Ukraine decided to close the corridors.

In this sense, the Ukrainian government reported that there would be no humanitarian roads to continue with the humanitarian evacuation of citizens from the region, since no agreement was reached to guarantee their safety.

This was announced by the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, a day after nine routes were opened to drain the towns of Mariúpol and Lugansk, two strategic objectives of Moscow to form a land corridor that unites Russia, the Donbass and the Crimean peninsula. .

Advance of Russian troops in Mariupol

Hours earlier, Ukrainian military sources, through the Facebook social network, reported that “the enemy continues its air attacks on Mariupol, as well as in the rest of the Donetsk region.”

Russia urged the Ukrainian military in Mariupol on the night of April 16 to cease hostilities and lay down their weapons as of 06:00 Moscow time (03:00 GMT) and assured that their lives will be guaranteed.

In a message released yesterday, the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, described the situation in that port city as “inhuman” and accused Russia of “destroying” everything in its path.

* Read: Joe Biden authorizes new military aid for Ukraine

Mariupol, next to the Sea of ​​Azov, is one of the strategic 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.

According to its mayor, up to 20,000 civilians have died in the city since the start of the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian authorities estimate that some 120,000 civilians remain in the besieged city, defended by the Azov Regiment, Marines and other forces.

Humanitarian Corridor in Mariupol, Ukraine | Photo: D.W.

According to kyiv estimates, since the beginning of the Russian invasion, some 20,300 casualties have been recorded in the Russian army, including dead, wounded or taken prisoner. And until this Sunday the 17th, the number of children killed throughout the country as a result of the conflict rose to 202, sources from the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office indicated.

With information from EFE, France24 Y D.W.

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