Mariupol likely a key objective of Russian invasion, UK Defense Ministry says

4 April, 03:17 PM
Mariupol has been under siege since March 1 (Photo:REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko)

Mariupol has been under siege since March 1 (Photo:REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko)

The UK Defense Ministry believes that Mariupol is almost certainly a key objective of the Russian invasion for building a land corridor from Russia to the occupied territory of Crimea.

“Heavy fighting continues in Mariupol as Russian forces attempt to take the city,” an April 4 UK Intelligence Update reads.

“The city continues to be subject to intense, indiscriminate strikes, but Ukrainian Forces maintain a staunch resistance, retaining control in central areas. Mariupol is almost certainly a key objective of Russian invasion, as it will secure a land corridor from Russia to the occupied territory of Crimea.”

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Mariupol has been under siege since March 1. The city has no access to water, electricity, heat or communications, and most of the infrastructure has been destroyed by Russian airstrikes. Many cannot find their relatives who remained in the city after the full-scale invasion of Russia and the blockade by the invaders.

As of March 28, about 5,000 citizens have died in Mariupol. The dead, who have no one to bury, are buried by public utilities in mass graves.

Invading Russian forces are also not allowing humanitarian aid into Mariupol, and are disrupting Ukrainian humanitarian corridors, while forcibly abducting city residents and sending them to Russia and to the regions of Donbas occupied by Russia (as of March 31, at least 45,000 people have been abducted from Mariupol).

The only way to evacuate from the city is on foot or by private car. At the end of March, more than 160,000 people remained in the city under conditions of a humanitarian catastrophe.

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