Ukraine’s Prime Minister assures that the last fighters in Mariupol “will fight to the end” | International
At 12:00 this Sunday, Spanish peninsular time, the seven-hour ultimatum that Russia gave to the last Ukrainian combatants in the strategic city of Mariupol to lay down their arms has concluded. There have been no signs of surrender and the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denis Shmihal, has assured this Sunday that “the city has not yet fallen” and that the last resistant redoubt “will fight to the end”. “Our military forces, our soldiers are still there […] At this moment in which I speak, they are still in Mariupol, ”he said in an interview on a program on the American television network ABC. Meanwhile, Russia is targeting another city in eastern Ukraine, Kharkov, where the bombings are constant. Five people have died there and 13 have been injured in an attack in the center of the town, according to medical sources.
On the first day of Orthodox Easter, the majority religion in both Russia and Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry offered Ukrainian forces seven hours to surrender unconditionally from 6:00 a.m. in Ukraine and Russia. (5.00, in mainland Spain). “Those who lay down their arms will save their lives. This is your only chance,” the Kremlin told Ukrainian soldiers entrenched in the Azovstal metallurgical complex, south of Mariupol and the scene of the most intense battles in recent weeks. The city, marked by destruction and the humanitarian crisis, has been under siege for weeks. Moscow claims to already control the entire urban area.
It is unknown how many fighters remain in Mariupol, whose location in the southeast of the country and on the shores of the Black Sea would make its capture the greatest Russian achievement in a campaign that has so far had no significant one. The Russian Defense Ministry claims, citing intercepted radio communications, that among the last Ukrainian fighters there are 400 “foreign mercenaries” and they have orders to shoot anyone who tries to surrender.
Zelensky: “A very difficult situation”
The Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, admitted this Saturday that the situation in Mariupol was “very difficult”. “Our army is blocked, the wounded are blocked. There is a humanitarian crisis, there is no food, no water, no medicine. However, the boys are defending themselves, ”he declared in an interview with national media. He also accused Russia of “deliberately destroying whoever is” in the city and warned that the “elimination” of the last military resistance there “would put an end to any peace negotiations.”
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The director of the UN World Food Program, David Beasley, also warned on Saturday that more than 100,000 civilians in Mariupol “are starving” and “in desperate need of food, water and heating”. Beasley complained in turn that “the Russian forces that control access to the city have not allowed the entry of aid, despite the fact that we have demanded access.”
In Kharkov, the country’s second largest city, columns of smoke and artillery attacks are constant. In addition to the five dead that have been registered there, two other people have died this Sunday in a bombardment in Zolote, in the eastern region of Donbas, according to the regional governor.
And the outskirts of the capital, kyiv, have been bombed for the third day in a row. It is the apparent response to the sinking of the Moscow, Russia’s flagship in the Black Sea, which has brought back anti-aircraft alarms and put an end to several days of relative calm in the capital. The Russian Defense Ministry claims that the target of the missile was an ammunition factory in the town of Brovari, about 20 kilometers from kyiv, which “was destroyed.”
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