June 25, 2022

Russian forces capture Mariupol in Ukraine

The war between Ukraine and Russia has been going on for nearly three months. One Ukrainian holdout city has finally toppled, potentially signaling a turning point.

Russia has captured the city of Mariupol after taking its steel mill, the Washington Examiner reported. The Azovstal steel plant was fiercely defended and was the lynchpin in the Ukrainian effort to hold the city.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had already declared victory in the city on April 21 though Ukrainian forces had remained there, holding off the invasion. On May 7,  the elderly, women, and children were all evacuated, leaving only the able-bodied male fighters behind until the surrender.

While Ukraine praised the bravery of its soldiers, Russia said those captured from the Azov Regiment were Nazis. In turn, Russia had announced that the steel plant had been “liberated” by them.

“The underground facilities of the enterprise, where the militants were hiding, came under the full control of the Russian armed forces,” a statement from the Russians said. The Kremlin has claimed Ukrainian soldiers surrendered, though no Ukrainian official has confirmed that report.

Supplies had run out, and conditions were desperate as Ukrainian forces attempted to maintain control of the valuable steel plant, Reuters reported. Pilots tried to use air forces to resupply entrenched soldiers, but that effort was thwarted by the Russians.

“A very large number of our pilots died, sadly,” Zelensky said in a televised statement. “They were absolutely heroic people who knew it was hard, that to fly in there was almost impossible, to fly to Azovstal with medicine, food, water, and to bring back bodies and the wounded,” he added.

This particular battle has had devastating effects on the region. The city has been destroyed, lives lost, and more territory is in the hands of the Russians — and it appears a clear path to peace has yet to be established between Ukraine and Russia.

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