On Sunday, April 17, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of wanting ” Demolition “ The entire eastern region of Donbass, promising that everything will be done to defend it, starting with the strategic port of Mariupol where the besieged soldiers are called up to fight ” to the end “. Russian soldiers are preparing to launch an offensive in the east of our country in the near future. They literally want to complete and destroy Donbass ”Mr. Zelensky was hit in a video message.
“Just as the Russian army is destroying Mariupol, they want to destroy other cities and other communities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”He continued before setting off: “We do everything to defend. » “Sabotage the orders of the occupiers.” Do not cooperate with them. (…) you must wait “he said again, adding to the Westerners that “The need for a ban on oil shipments from Russia is becoming more and more important every day”.
On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed this in the east “High-precision missiles destroyed fuel and ammunition depots” In Barvinkove (Izium region) and Dobropillia (not far from Donetsk). Continuous bombing of the area [de Louhansk] continuous”, at the same time condemned its Ukrainian ruler, Sergej Djiditch. locality “Zolote was severely damaged today. They deliberately targeted a five-story building. (…) Two people were killed and five wounded..
In this context, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister announced the suspension of humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from eastern Ukraine, due to the lack of an agreement with the Russian army on a ceasefire. To the north, in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, at least five people were killed on Sunday and 20 others were wounded in a series of Russian strikes, regional governor Oleg Senegubov noted. “In the past four days alone, 18 people have been killed and 106 injured.” In the bombing of this city, for his part, Mr. Zelensky pointed out, attacking a ‘Deliberate terrorism’.
Ignoring the ultimatum from Russia, which asked the last Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol to lay down their arms on Sunday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Chmygal assured that the resistance would continue. “No, the city has not fallen. Our soldiers are still there. They will fight to the end. As I speak to you, they are still in Mariupol”he told American television channel ABC.
Moscow had asked the last Ukrainian fighters, stationed at the Azovstal Metallurgical Complex, to cease fire in the morning and evacuate the building at midday. “Those who give up their weapons will be assured of saving their lives.”the Russian Ministry of Defense promised on Telegram. ‘It’s their only chance’. Early on Sunday morning, the Ukrainian General Staff reported and mentioned Russian airstrikes on Mariupol “Attacks near the port”without further details.
Mariupol, a strategic target
Capturing this city would be an important victory for the Russians as it would allow them to consolidate their coastal territorial gains along the Sea of Azov by connecting the Donbass region, partly controlled by their supporters, with Crimea that Moscow annexed in 2014. About Volodymyr Zelensky, “The situation in Mariupol remains as dangerous as possible. Simply inhumane.”.
Thought there is only “two options” Either the Westerners immediately hand over heavy weapons to help him lift the siege of this city of 441,000 people before the Russian offensive begins on February 24, or they help him obtain a negotiated cessation of hostilities. No food, no water, no medicine. In Mariupol, he was swept up in the media, accusing Moscow of doing it ” Refusal “ Create humanitarian corridors.
For its part, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk demanded, on Sunday, the opening of an evacuation route for wounded soldiers who are still there. According to the Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, there are more than 100,000 civilians on the brink of starvation in Mariupol, which also lacks heating.
And in the Kyiv region, the Russian Defense Ministry announced, on Sunday, that it had launched high-precision missiles at an ammunition factory near Brovary. This was said by the local mayor Igor Saboyko “Some elements of the infrastructure were affected” In the early hours of the day. During the past three days, Russian forces launched several strikes on military factories in the capital region, following the downing of the cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea. Talks between the Russians and the Ukrainians have been suspended for several days now.