Mariupol did not fall into the hands of the Russians. Ukrainian forces continue to resist. “Our assessment today is that Mariupol remains disputed and that the Ukrainians are still fighting to defend it from the Russian invasion,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “You have seen the pictures yourself and seen the devastation caused by the Russian air strikes on Mariupol, but we believe that the Ukrainian forces are still fighting,” he added.
Kirby stressed that the Russians wanted to take Mariupol “because of its strategic location: it will give him unlimited access to the land between Donbass and Crimea.” At the same time, he stressed Ukraine’s importance for what its port represents “for economic life: it is their city, it is part of their country and they have not given up” to defend it, he said.
“The situation in Mariupol makes it difficult to determine the number of casualties, the city is under siege,” but “at the moment we are talking about 20-22,000 killed in MariupolThe governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kirilenko, told CNN. Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of “tens of thousands” of deaths in Mariupol.
According to Ukrainian media, a unit of Ukrainian marines of the 36th Brigade in the city broke the blockade of the Russian forces and managed to communicate with the same Azov regiment encircled in the port area. And at the base of the news came the statements of an officer about a “special operation” that allowed “several hundred marines, including the wounded, to get out” of the Russian blockade.
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