A few thousand resistance soldiers remained in Mariupol, which was razed after seven weeks of relentless attacks that ignored the Kremlin’s order to surrender over the weekend
Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol will “fight to the end,” says the country’s prime minister, amid threats from Vladimir Putin to kill every single one.
The besieged port city was pulverized after seven weeks of near-constant shelling, killing around 20,000 residents.
About 100,000 manage to survive with the last known group of resistance fighters holed up in a four square mile steel mill.
Over the weekend, Russia gave them until Saturday to surrender – a demand that was ignored.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said troops in Mariupol were fighting despite a Russian demand to surrender by dawn.
“The city still hasn’t fallen,” he told ABC’s This Week, adding that Ukrainian soldiers continue to control some parts of the city.
Russia said on Saturday it was in control of urban parts of the city, with some Ukrainian militants remaining at the Azovstal Steel Works overlooking the Sea of Azov.
The capture of Mariupol, the main port in the south-eastern region of the Donbass, would be a strategic win for Russia and would link territory held by pro-Russian separatists to the east with the Crimea region annexed by Moscow in 2014.
After failing to overcome Ukrainian resistance in the north, the Russian military refocused its ground offensive on the Donbass while continuing long-range attacks elsewhere, including the capital Kyiv.
Since the invasion began on February 24, some four million Ukrainians have fled the country, cities have been destroyed and thousands have died.
“The occupiers will be responsible for everything they did in Ukraine,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on his Telegram account, posting images of the destruction that he said resembled the “terrible times” of World War II.
Drone footage transmitted by Russia’s RIA-Novosti news agency on Sunday showed miles of destroyed buildings in Mariupol.
In this morning’s briefing, the Defense Ministry claimed that continued resistance from Mariupol was slowing the advance of the invaders in the rest of Ukraine.
It said: “Russian commanders will be concerned about the time it will take to subjugate Mariupol.
“Concentrated Ukrainian resistance has severely tested Russian forces, diverting men and materiel, slowing Russia’s advances elsewhere.
“Efforts to capture Mariupol come at a significant cost to its residents. Much of the infrastructure was destroyed while the population suffered significant losses.
AFP via Getty Images)
“The targeting of populated areas in Mariupol is consistent with Russia’s actions against Chechnya in 1999 and Syria in 2016.
“This is despite claims by the Russian Defense Ministry on February 24, 2022 that Russia would not attack cities or threaten the Ukrainian population.”
It comes as Russia launched multiple missiles into the city of Lviv on Monday.
After the sinking of its flagship Moskva last week, the Kremlin stepped up its attacks.
Russia said Sunday it had attacked a munitions factory near Kyiv with precision-guided missiles overnight, the third such attack in as many days.
Explosions were also reported in Kramatorsk, the eastern city where rockets earlier this month killed at least 57 people at a train station crowded with civilians trying to evacuate ahead of the Russian offensive.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ukraine-fight-end-mariupol-putin-26735458 Ukraine will 'fight to the end' in Mariupol as Putin threatens to wipe out entire city - World News