Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Sunday, April 17, of wanting Russia ” destroy “ the entire eastern region of Donbass and promised to do everything to defend it, starting with the strategic port of Mariupol, where the trapped soldiers would be called to battle ” until the end “. “Russian soldiers are preparing for an offensive in the east of our country in the near future. They want to literally complete and destroy Donbass.”pounded Mr. Zelensky in a video message.
“Just as the Russian military is destroying Mariupol, they want to destroy other cities and other communities in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”he continued before starting: “We do everything to defend. » “Sabotage the occupiers’ orders.” Do not cooperate with them. (…) You have to persevere”he said again, adding that for westerners “The need for an embargo on oil supplies from Russia is becoming more important every day”.
In the east, the Russian Ministry of Defense assured this on Sunday “High-precision missiles had destroyed fuel and ammunition stores” in Barvinkove (Izium region) and Dobropillia (near Donetsk). “The constant bombing of the region [de Louhansk] continues “, at the same time pityed his Ukrainian governor Serguiï Gaïdaï. The locality of “Zolote was hit hard today. They purposely aimed at a five-story building. (…) Two people were killed and five injured..
In this regard, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine announced the suspension of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians from eastern Ukraine, due to the failure to reach a ceasefire agreement with the Russian army. Further north, in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, at least five people died and 20 others were injured in a series of Russian strikes on Sunday, regional governor Oleg Sinegoubov said. “In the past four days alone, 18 people have been killed and 106 injured” during the bombing raids on this city, remarked Mr. Zelensky, scourging a “premeditated terror”.
Despite Russia’s ultimatum on Sunday ordering the last Ukrainian soldiers present in Mariupol to lay down their arms, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Khmygal gave assurances that the resistance would continue. “No, the city didn’t fall. Our soldiers are still there. You will fight to the end. As I speak to you, you are still in Mariupol.”he told the American television network ABC.
Moscow had asked the last Ukrainian militants holed up in the Azovstal metallurgical complex to cease fire in the morning and evacuate the site by midday. “All those who have laid down their arms will have their lives saved, guaranteed”promised the Russian Ministry of Defense by telegram. “It’s her only chance”. Early Sunday morning, the Ukrainian General Staff reported and mentioned Russian air strikes on Mariupol “Assault Operations Near the Port”without further information.
Mariupol, strategic goal
The capture of this city would be an important victory for the Russians, as it would allow them to consolidate their territorial gains on the coast along the Sea of Azov, merging the Donbass region, partially controlled by their supporters, with Crimea connect, which Moscow annexed in 2014 For Volodymyr Zelenskyy, “The situation in Mariupol remains as serious as it gets. Simply inhuman”.
He believes that there is only “two options” : Either the Westerners will immediately supply heavy weapons to help him lift the siege on this city of 441,000 before the start of the Russian offensive on February 24, or they will help him negotiate a cessation of fighting. “There is no food, water or medicine” In Mariupol, he got carried away by the media and blamed Moscow ” decline “ the establishment of humanitarian corridors.
For her part, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Sunday called for the opening of an evacuation route for the wounded soldiers still there. According to World Food Program executive director David Beasley, more than 100,000 civilians in Mariupol are at risk of starvation, even without heating.
In the Kyiv region, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that it had fired high-precision missiles at an ammunition factory near Brovary. That’s what local mayor Igor Sapojko said “Some infrastructure elements were affected” in the early hours of the day. In the past three days, Russian forces have launched several attacks on military factories in the capital region after the cruiser Moskva was shot down in the Black Sea. And talks between Russians and Ukrainians have stalled for several days.