Ukrainians’ ‘last stand’ to battle for Mariupol as the city expected to ‘fall within 24 hours’ to Russia
The beleaguer and the strategic port city of Mariupol are looking to fall to Russian hands within the next 24 hours and that Monday will be the “last stand”, Ukrainian forces have said.
The 36th Marine Brigade, which has been saving guarding Mariupol for Ukraine for the past six weeks, has shared that they are running out of projectiles and they are surrounded, reports ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith.
It stated in a statement that it has fallen back to send in cooks and members of the orchestra to fight because they have run out of infantry.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said “tens of thousands” have expired in the besieged city, as he pleaded to South Korean lawmakers for arms ahead of another Russian offensive in the east of the country.
In a video address, the president said: “The occupiers concentrated tens of thousands of soldiers and a huge amount of equipment to try to strike again.
“The worst situation is in Mariupol, in our southern port city, which has been blocked by Russian troops since March 1. It was a city of half a million. Half a million people…
“They tried to capture it in the most brutal way – just to destroy everything in the city. Mariupol is destroyed. There are tens of thousands of dead. But even despite this, the Russians do not stop the offensive. They want to make Mariupol a demonstratively destroyed city.”
Officials have been threatening for weeks that the humanitarian situation in the besieged city is getting worse and has been cut off from the rest of Ukraine, with food, medicine, and water unable to come in and out of the city, while residents attempt to spend life without electricity.
Regular tries to remove the city have resulted in a breakdown with Ukraine alleging Russia of firing on the refugee fleet. Moscow has also been alleged of committed war crimes in the city.
Meanwhile, in its latest update on the situation, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) notify that Russian troops could use phosphorus in their bid to trap Mariupol.
“Russian force’s prior use of phosphorous munitions in the Donetsk Oblast raises the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies,” it said in a tweet.
White phosphorous burns at extremely high temperatures and is often used to illuminate dispute zones or unclear them with smoke. It can cause horrific burns, respiratory damage, infection, shock, and organ failure, according to Human Rights Watch.
“Russian shelling has continued in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with Ukrainian forces repulsing several assaults resulting in the destruction of Russian tanks, vehicles, and artillery equipment.
“Russia’s continued reliance on unguided bombs decreases their ability to discriminate when targeting and conducting strikes while greatly increasing the risk of further civilian casualties.”
“Russian troops will move to even larger operations in the east of our state,” Mr. Zelensky said as he accused Russia of trying to evade responsibility for war crimes.
“When people lack the courage to admit their mistakes, apologize, adapt to reality and learn, they turn into monsters. And when the world ignores it, the monsters decide that it is the world that has to adapt to them. Ukraine will stop all this,” Mr. Zelenskyy said.
“To be honest, whether we will be able to (survive) depends on this,” Zelenskyy said in a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday night, speaking through a translator.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have the confidence that we will be receiving everything we need.”