Russia wants Mariupol very much. Ukrainian troops are resisting. Major cities in important areas are now mostly in ruins. Those who fought there and those who were able to escape from it explain the latest situation in the city … but what does Russia have to do with Mariupol?
The 28-year-old British Aiden Aslin first came to Kyiv in 2018 and joined the Ukrainian Navy’s clinic after two months of basic training. Currently, Aslin is fighting for Ukraine, albeit back-ranked, in Mariupol, under the siege of Russia.
Talking to the British press, the young man explains that the situation in the city is deteriorating and that Russia continues to commit war crimes by attacking civilian targets. In fact, Aiden Aslin compares Mariupol’s to the Nazi-occupied Stalingrad. II. The siege and victory of Stalingrad, considered a turning point in World War II, left a mark on European history and was one of the most important factors that ensured the defeat of the Nazis.
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Russians said they had targeted hospitals and ambulances, and British said they were stuck because the city’s water and food facilities were depleted and 300,000 could not escape. Russian troops that attacked the communications center as soon as they entered the city are also trying to break the connection between Mariupol and the world.
Announced to the world
Aslin, on the other hand, receives a signal over the phone and uses messaging applications such as Whatsapp and Telegram to try to inform the world of the city’s situation. “The situation in the city is very bad. Russians are targeting everyone, regardless of civilianity, and insane war crimes are committed here.” British soldiers said: He went on to say:
“There are endless attacks from the ground and air, day and night. Hospitals have been attacked many times. Even with the word” HOSPITAL “in their yard, they were avoided from being targeted. did not. An ambulance carrying civilians was attacked. There is no electricity or gas. The situation will be even more difficult for the general public as soon as the water runs out. The street looks like Stalingrad. “
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Aiden Aslin “The Russians who liberated Stalingrad from the Nazis are now fighting in Mariupol using Nazi tactics.” To tell.
Meanwhile, the lucky civilians who were able to escape Mariupol encountered an image they would never forget in their lives. People who talk about nightmares say they’re gone lately, but they don’t see it for themselves …
A teenage girl shot in a Mariupol hospital is being treated
Those who can escape are very lucky
Natalia Heitzka explains the difficulties she and her older parents and their four cats had to escape from Mariupol. “It took four days to arrive in Lviv. If the good people didn’t help us, we would have died long ago.” Women died in the city. Says that the body could not be removed by any other method and began to be buried in the yard of the house.
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Hayetska’s situation “There is no infrastructure left in the city. There is no water or electricity and it is constantly being bombed. People left the dead on the side of the road and began to cover them with blankets. There are no people left to take it. ”Summary it in words.
Natalia’s 84-year-old mother, Harina Zelezniak, is grateful to her daughter.Old lady “He didn’t leave us behind. I can’t thank him enough. I’ve never been so afraid in my life. I can’t believe this is happening, I I’m still shocked. “ To tell.
The importance of Mariupol
Mariupol, a port city in southeastern Ukraine, was Russia’s most bombed and damaged city. Mariupol is very important for Moscow’s military operations in Ukraine. Why?
A woman and her children who lost their husband in the attack …
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Taking Mariupol’s is an important strategic benefit for Russia, and there are four main reasons why it can be a big blow to Ukraine.
1. Secure a land corridor between Crimea and Donbus
Geographically, the city of Mariupol occupies a small area on the map, but is in the way of Russian troops mobilizing from the Crimean Peninsula. These units want to move northeast to engage pro-Russian separatists in the Donbus region of eastern Ukraine.
General Richard Barrons, a former commander of the Eurocorps Command, says that capturing Mariupol’s is essential to Russia’s war effort.
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“When the Russians feel that the war has ended successfully, they will complete the overpass from Russia to Crimea and see it as a major strategic achievement.”
If Mariupol is occupied, Russia will have complete control of more than 80% of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, blocking maritime trade and further isolating it from the world.
The Ukrainians who protect the city have kept many Russian soldiers busy for the past three weeks by resisting advancing troops. Not being able to quickly occupy the city, the Russian commander turned to the 21st century version of the old siege tactics.
15-year-old Masha Feschenko injured in Mariupol
They fired Mariupol’s cannons, rockets and missiles. More than 90% of the city was damaged. It also blocks access to electricity, heating, clean water, food and medicine. They caused a humanitarian disaster. Moscow has accused Ukraine of refusing to surrender until 05:00 on March 21st. Ukrainian lawmakers have accused Russia of “trying to starve Mariupol.”
Ukraine promised the last soldier to protect the city. That may certainly be the case. The Russian army is slowly moving towards the center. Without a viable peace treaty, Russia is likely to intensify its artillery, making little distinction between the armed forces defending the city and still more than 200,000 civilians.
If Russia controls Mariupol, you can use about 6,000 soldiers organized into a tactical group of 1000 battalions to strengthen other Russian fronts around Ukraine.
There are several possibilities for where you can redeploy.
- Advance northeast to surround Ukrainian troops fighting pro-Kremlin separatists in the Donbus region
- Move west towards Odessa, the last gateway to the Black Sea in Ukraine
- Drive northwest towards the city of Dnipro
2. Collapse of Ukrainian economy
Mariupol was a strategically important port city in the Sea of Azov, which is part of the Black Sea.
It is the largest port in the Sea of Azov region, with a deep pier and important steel facilities. Mariupol’s is typically the main export hub for steel, coal and corn to customers in the Middle East and beyond in Ukraine.
Since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, Mariupol has been captured by Russian troops on the peninsula and pro-Kremlin separatists in the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Losing Mariupol will have a major impact on what is left in the Ukrainian economy.
Ukrainians trying to escape from Mariupol to Lviv
3. Promotional opportunities
Mariupol is home to Ukrainian militias called the Azov Battalion, named after the Sea of Azov. The Sea of Azov connects the city with the rest of the Black Sea. The Azov Battalion accepts far-right radicals, including neo-Nazis.
They formed a small part of Ukraine’s combat power, but this is a useful promotional material for Moscow, in order for the youth sent to the Russians to fight in Ukraine to save their neighbors from the neo-Nazis. I gave an excuse to say that I was there.
If Russia can keep a significant number of Azov battalion fighters alive, it will be widely reported in Russian state media as part of an ongoing information war to undermine the credibility of Ukraine and its government. prize.
4. Significant improvement in morale
Russia’s capture of Mariupol is psychologically important to both sides of the war.
Russia’s victory in Mariupol allows the Kremlin to show the public through state media that Russia has achieved its goals and is making progress.
To Russian President Vladimir Putin, this war seems personal, and it all has historical implications. Putin considers the Black Sea coastline of Ukraine to Novorossiya (New Russia) (Russian territory dating back to the Russian Empire in the 18th century).
Putin wants to revive this concept as “saving Russians from the persecution of pro-Western governments in Kyiv.” Mariupol’s is currently a hindrance to achieving this goal.
But for Ukrainians, the loss of Mariupol’s will not only be military and economic, but will also have a major impact on the morale of men and women to fight on the ground and protect the country. If the Russians accept it, Mariupol will be the first major city to be dominated after Kherson, which is far less strategically important.
The city is in ruins
Another aspect of morale is deterrence.
Mariupol showed great resistance, but it was expensive. The city has been leveled. It will go down in history with Grozny and Aleppo, which Russia eventually bombed, forcibly surrendered and destroyed. From here, the message to other Ukrainian cities is clear: if you choose to resist like Mariupol, you will suffer the same fate.
“Russians couldn’t enter Mariupol,” said General Richard Barrons of England, adding:
“They couldn’t bring the tank in, so they destroyed it. We can see them elsewhere. This is important to them.”
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