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Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Mariupol Stands Up To The Russian Advance And Prepares For The Last Assault

The Ukrainian government is trying to facilitate the evacuation of civilians from this besieged city.

The center of kyiv woke up this Monday with a scare in the body. A shell, coming from Russian soil, had hit a section of the Retroville shopping center late the night before. The resulting crash was colossal. The windows of Alexandra's home, a fourth floor of the modern block of flats closest to the scene of the attack, had all their glass missing. "We got a huge scare," recalls the young woman. "I ran to my baby, half naked, and we went down to the bunker."

In the morning, the rear area of ​​Retroville, in the northwest of the capital, was a jumble of iron and nerves. After cordoning off the area, policemen and militiamen vehemently ordered them to move away to proceed, as one of them explained, to "carry out a controlled detonation of explosive material" present at the impact site. They did not specify the reason for their presence. Minutes later, a large explosion, this time caused by the agents, shook the scene again.

The neighborhood was in shock. It was difficult for some to understand that Russia, which controls part of the nearby Irpin district, had decided to hit what until recently was a shiny shopping center, a mecca for consumers from all over the city, located in a typical residential area of ​​​​needy young couples. of good and cheap housing. Russia assured that the guts of the shopping center, not operational at the moment, served as a deposit for military material.

The Overview In The Night & Morning

Sitting disconsolate on a bench outside one of the adjoining buildings, Nina slipped that "there are rumors... We've been seeing how they attack this area with rockets for four weeks." Now, she laments, "we can't even go into the house to collect our things. Where are we going to go? We'll have to try to fix the windows and adapt to what's there." Resignation is the little that the hundreds of families who have decided not to flee from Kiev in the face of Russian attacks retain.

British intelligence sources confirmed that Moscow remains determined to capture the Ukrainian capital. The strategy passes, first, by extending its incipient pincer movement until it surrounds kyiv. And once fenced, scorched earth: bomb the civilian population to the point of exhaustion. Until he understands that the only way to prevent a larger massacre is to force the defenders to lay down their arms. That is exactly what is happening in Mariupol.

"MARIUPOL IS GROZNY, LENINGRAD, ALEPPO"

"Mariupol will be one more entry on the list of cities destroyed by war. Mariupol is Guernica, it is Grozny, it is Leningrad, it is Aleppo," listed the Greek consul in that city, Manolis Androulakis, as soon as he set foot in Athens after his evacuation, Few days ago. "What I saw there, I hope will never be seen again," he clinched. The images from the fence leave no room for doubt: destruction everywhere. There is no building, in the images, that has not suffered damage.

Ukraine Rejects Surrender In Mariupol

Official estimates put the percentage of buildings affected by the battle at 90%, which has deteriorated in street fighting between the Russians, supported by Chechen militiamen, and the defending forces, including the far-right Azov battalion. In between, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 people trapped, in increasingly subhuman conditions. Death visits them daily in the form of an artillery shell.

The alternative is to surrender. Such had been the Russian demand on Sunday night, under the threat of redoubling the attack if they did not fold. But not even in these circumstances, which the entrenched categorically rejected, does the taking of Mariupol seem imminent in the eyes of the pro-Russian forces. "I am not so optimistic as to say that the matter will be resolved in two or three days or in a week," admitted Denis Pushilin, leader of the separatists of the Donetsk republic, recognized by Russia last February.

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"The blockade of Mariupol will be a stain on history," Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said in one of his last video appearances. His government has reported that it continues to work to facilitate the escape of civilians from fences such as the one in the coastal city. He accuses Russia of "violating the evacuation agreements" by "bombing the humanitarian corridors". Presidential adviser Tetiana Lomakina said that to date 200,000 people have been evacuated.

The ghost of the chemical attack walked through the north of the country. There was no actual attack, but according to government sources, the shelling of the Sumykhimprom fertilizer plant caused an ammonia "leak" in the early morning hours. Although the situation affected a radius of 2.5 km and was quickly brought under control, without leaving any victims, the incident raises fears in Ukraine of chemical attacks of a more lethal nature.

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