Understand all about the “last battle of Mariupol” and the expected attack in the east

The noose is still tightening a little more this Tuesday on the last Ukrainian forces defending Mariupol, which has been besieged by the Russian army for more than seven weeks. In this largely devastated port city, the humanitarian situation is tragic while still far to the east, civilians continue to flee the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, where six evacuation trains are scheduled to leave today.

The Russian forces do not intend to abandon Mariupol and the “final battle” is close according to the Ukrainian fighters, while “the Donetsk and Lugansk regions will be a decisive moment in the war,” declared on Telegram the post of Ukrainian President Andrech Yermak. 20 minutes He assesses these two combat zones and what promises to be a new turning point in the war that has pitted Ukraine against Russia for more than forty days.

Where are the Russian forces in Mariupol?

Kremlin forces will continue to put pressure on Mariupol on Tuesday. on TwitterAdviser to the President of Ukraine Mikhailo Podolyak He said that “Ukrainian soldiers are surrounded and besieged”, that “tens of thousands” of people have been killed and that “90% of homes” have been destroyed. For his part, the leader of the pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, Denis Pushlin, confirmed live on the Russian Pervi Kanal channel that his forces had occupied the entire Mariupol port area: already under our control. »

The Russian army, according to him, had thwarted an attempt to penetrate a hundred Ukrainian soldiers with armored vehicles located at a factory in the north of Mariupol, and they were trying to escape from it. Their exit was repelled by “air strikes and artillery fire,” according to Moscow, which says it significantly destroyed three tanks and killed about fifty “enemies,” and that 42 surrendered.

Finally, Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the pro-Russian Donetsk Republic, for his part, made it clear that he did not rule out the use of chemical weapons to attack Ukrainian sites at the Azovstal plant, a new challenge to the battle. In fact, the capture of Mariupol stumbles especially on the industrial complex with several factories, including the legendary Azovstal plant, which overlooks the port.

Are the Ukrainian forces still resisting?

The Ukrainian army confirmed on Telegram that Kyiv’s forces “continue to defend Mariupol”, stressing that they are in constant contact with units that “championately control the city”. Part of Mariupol was temporarily occupied by the Russians. Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov said on Tuesday that Ukrainian soldiers continue to defend the center and south as well as industrial areas.

On Facebook, the 36th National Marine Brigade said it was preparing for a “final battle” against Russian forces: “We’re running out of ammunition. It will be death to some of us and captivity to others. We are slowly fading out. […] We don’t know what will happen, but we really ask that you remember [de nous] In a kind word,” she wrote in a message carried by Reuters and Radio Canada. “During more than forty days of fierce fighting, we have gradually pushed the enemy back. […]surrounded us and is now trying to destroy us,” the soldiers specify, stressing that nearly half of their forces have already been wounded in the fighting.

Russian control in and around Mariupol on 9, 16, 23 and 30 March.
Russian control in and around Mariupol on 9, 16, 23 and 30 March. – Lawrence Sawpado, Kenan O’Gard / Agence France-Presse

Finally, Oleksich Aristovich, an advisor to Volodymyr Zelensky, declared on YouTube: “I am the first to find the strength to say that ‘Ukrainian forces cannot liberate Mariupol,’ it is now militarily impossible.”

Why does Moscow absolutely want to bring down Mariupol?

Very early, long before the start of the Russian offensive, Mariupol established itself as a real strategic stake for the pro-Russian separatists. the reason ? Located about 55 kilometers from the Russian border and 85 kilometers from the separatist stronghold of Donetsk, it is the largest city still in Kyiv’s hands in the Donbas basin that includes the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Map showing the city of Mariupol, which was besieged by Russian forces on 5 March.
Map showing the city of Mariupol, which was besieged by Russian forces on 5 March. – Simone Melftetto, Jane Michael Cornu

Its invasion would thus allow the Russians to consolidate their territorial gains on the coastal strip along the Sea of ​​Azov by creating a land corridor between the Donbass regions, which recognize their sovereignty, and Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

Where is the attack in the east?

Moscow made the complete capture of Donbass its priority goal and Kyiv announced, through the voice of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman, Oleksandr Motozyank, the expectation of an attack “very soon”. In Washington, a senior Pentagon official confirmed that Russian forces are strengthening in particular near the town of Izium. A helicopter maintenance support battalion and infantry logistics units will be added to a tank column.

Map of eastern Ukraine defining the administrative regions (
Map of Eastern Ukraine defining the administrative regions (- Simon MALFATTO, Sabrina BLANCHARD, Kenan AUGEARD, Valentin RAKOVSKY

The Ukrainian Army’s General Staff said it expected the Russians to launch attacks on cities such as Popasna and Korakhov in the near future “to take over the entire Donetsk region”. “The battle for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions is a decisive moment in the war,” Andrei Yermak, Chief of Staff of Volodymyr Zelensky said via Telegram. “It will last several days, and during these days our cities can be completely destroyed,” added Sergei Gadak, the Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region.

On a visit to Vostochny on Tuesday (the first visit of a Kremlin head outside Moscow since February 24), Vladimir Putin praised the “courageous, professional and effective” struggle of Russian officers “taking part in the special military operation in the Donbass.” . This attack, he said, is necessary and inevitable “to ensure the security of Russia” against Ukraine, which “began to turn into an anti-Russian stronghold, for the development of nationalism and neo-Nazism.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.