“The situation in Mariupol remains as serious as it can be. Simply inhumane,” Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video message. “That is what the Russian Federation did. He did it deliberately. […] Russia is deliberately trying to destroy anyone in Mariupol,” in southeastern Ukraine.
At the same time, the Russian Defense Ministry asked the last Ukrainian fighters holed up in the Azovstal metallurgical complex to stop fighting on Sunday and evacuate the site before 13:00 Moscow time. (noon, French time). “All those who have surrendered their weapons will be guaranteed the salvation of their lives,” the ministry assured on Telegram. “It’s your only chance.”
Apart from this pocket of resistance, “the entire territory of the city of Mariupol has been cleared of militants from the Nazi Azov formation, foreign mercenaries and Ukrainian soldiers,” he said.
In the early hours of Sunday, the Ukrainian general staff said that Russians from the Donetsk and Tavriya regions had carried out air strikes on the city. “They also carried out assault operations near the port,” he said in a statement, without mentioning the call to lay down arms or the Russian claim to take most of the city.
Capturing this city would be a major victory for the Russians because it would allow them to consolidate their coastal territorial gains along the Sea of Azov by linking the Donbass region, partly controlled by their supporters, with Crimea that Moscow has annexed. in 2014.
Mariupol on the brink of starvation
Earlier, the Ukrainian president had threatened to stop peace talks with Moscow if the last Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol were “eliminated”.
“There is no food, no water, no medicine,” he was carried away by the media, accusing the Russians of “rejecting” the establishment of humanitarian corridors.
According to the executive director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, more than 100,000 civilians are on the verge of starvation in Mariupol, in addition to lacking water and a source of heat.
The Russian military once again aimed its missiles at kyiv, which had enjoyed a bit of a reprieve lately. Motivated by revenge after the loss of her flagship in the Black Sea, the cruiser Moskva. The Ukrainians claim to have caused the sinking of her thanks to their Neptune anti-ship missiles. The Pentagon agreed, saying the Russian ship had been hit by two Ukrainian missiles on Thursday.
A version that the Russian authorities have not officially endorsed, simply evoking a fire that caused the explosion of ammunition on board the building that sank a few hours later during its tow.
It didn’t take long: a Russian attack on Friday hit a complex in the kyiv region that produces Neptune missiles.
And on Saturday one person died and “several” had to be hospitalized after a strike against an industrial complex in the Darnytsky district, on the outskirts of kyiv, which especially manufactures tanks, the capital’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, announced.
kyiv and its environs had been relatively spared from bombing since the Russian army’s withdrawal from this area in late March, but the loss of the Moskva drew the ire of Moscow.
Faced with this situation, the mayor of the capital once again appealed to his fellow citizens who had fled the fighting not to return to kyiv, whose population, however, massively took advantage of the first bright day of spring on Friday to walk or have a glass on the terrace.
Russian forces also bombed on Saturday an oil refinery in eastern Ukraine, four kilometers from Lysytchansk, very close to the front line, local authorities said.
I need weapons
Ukraine also claimed to have destroyed four cruise missiles fired by Russian planes that took off from neighboring Belarus in the western Lviv region on Saturday morning.
In the Odessa region of southern Ukraine, “Russian anti-aircraft defense shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane, delivering a large batch of weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western countries,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday. .
Volodymyr Zelensky again called on the world on Saturday to “prepare” for Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons. “We need (radiation) drugs, bomb shelters,” he said.
According to him, between 2,500 and 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and about 10,000 wounded since the beginning of the war.
During a telephone conversation with the chief of the General Staff of the US Armed Forces, Mark Milley, his Ukrainian counterpart, Valery Zaluzhny, insisted, echoing the calls of Volodymyr Zelensky, on the urgent need for weapons and ammunition.
But, according to the Washington Post, Russia sent an official complaint to the United States this week, warning the US government of “unforeseeable consequences” if its military assistance to Ukraine continues to increase.