In light of the catastrophic situation in Mariupol, which has been disputed for weeks, Ukraine has proposed a “special round of negotiations” with Russian representatives in the strategically important port city in the south of the country. Ukraine’s chief negotiator and presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, wrote on Twitter yesterday that the negotiations could take place “without preconditions.”
The goal is to rescue Ukrainian fighters, soldiers and civilians. “Because they belong to us. Because they are in my heart. Forever,” says Podoljak.
Dramatic call for help
The Ukrainian armed forces in Mariupol have issued a dramatic call for help after nearly two months of heavy fighting. Ukrainian commander Serhiy Volina said his forces “may” be facing their “last days, if not hours”. Moscow issued a new ultimatum to Ukrainian soldiers, which expired yesterday.
In Mariupol, the still steadfast Ukrainian soldiers barricaded themselves in steelworks and from there put up fierce resistance against the Russian attackers. According to the city authorities, there are also at least a thousand civilians in the underground facilities of steel mills.
Kadyrov wants to see Mariupol taken
The governor of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, predicted the complete capture of Mariupol on Thursday.
“Even before or after lunch, Azovstal will be under the complete control of the Russian armed forces,” he said in an audio message overlooking the Azovstal steel plant, the last stronghold of Ukrainian forces in the largely occupied city.
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