Zelensky names two options for how the West can help unblock Mariupol

17 April, 10:34 AM
A residential building in Mariupol, destroyed by Russian shelling (Photo:REUTERS/Pavel Klimov)

A residential building in Mariupol, destroyed by Russian shelling (Photo:REUTERS/Pavel Klimov)

The situation in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol remains "as cruel and inhumane as could be" due to the Russian siege, but there are two ways to resolve the matter, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on April 16.

He said that he had discussed with world leaders options to help the defenders of Mariupol and its residents. According to Zelensky, there are two options: either Ukraine's partners immediately supply the necessary heavy weapons, including aircraft, so that it can reduce the invaders' pressure on the city and break the siege; or there is was a "negotiating path" in which the role of partners would also be decisive.

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"I want you to hear me correctly right now: there has not been a single day since the blockade of Mariupol that we have not sought solutions, both military or diplomatic, to save our people," the president said.

"But finding this solution is extremely difficult, and there is no 100% realistic option (for a solution). This applies to both options for military action and the negotiation process."

"Ukraine has heard many intentions from those who wanted to help and have international prestige, but none of them has been realized yet," he added.

Zelensky said that "(Ukraine) will not abandon these efforts," and the country's leadership is in daily contact with Ukrainian forces in Mariupol.

Earlier, Zelensky said that negotiations were underway to help the defenders of the city, but Russia demanded that they surrender. According to him, the killing of the Ukrainian soldiers in besieged Mariupol will put an end to peace negotiations with Russia.

On April 14, the deputy commander of the Azov Regiment aka "Kalyna" said that it was possible to break the siege of Mariupol. He added that the defenders of the city were fighting and waiting for decisive action by the country's military and political leadership.

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