The Ukrainian resistance in the city of Mariupol is in a critical situation

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Zaporizhia (Ukraine) (AFP) – The last Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol refuse to surrender, but on Thursday demanded from the international community “security guarantees” as Russian forces seek to capture this strategic city in southeastern Ukraine as a whole.

“We are ready to leave Mariupol with the help of an” armed “third party to rescue the people entrusted to us,” Svyatoslav Balamar, deputy commander of the Azov battalion, told the Telegram.

Hundreds of civilians suffering from food and water shortages are stranded at the Azovstal steel and mineral plant with the 36th Ukrainian Army Battalion and the Azov Battalion, the last two combat units in Mariupol, according to Ukrainian authorities.

Svyatoslav Palamar called on the “civilized world” to provide “security guarantees”, stressing that the two battalions do not accept “the conditions of the Russian Federation for the surrender of weapons and the capture of our defenders”.

“The situation is difficult and even critical” at this large complex, which has become the last pocket of resistance at the port on the southern edge of the Donbass, he added. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that “about a thousand civilians, women and children (…) and hundreds injured” were sheltered in it.

Civilians trapped inside the factory, whose numbers could not be independently confirmed, “are afraid of continued bombing,” Ballamer said, calling for a ceasefire.

Earlier, Kiev made a proposal. “We are ready to hold a ‘special negotiation session’ in Mariupol to rescue our people, Azov (battalion) soldiers, civilians, children, the living and the wounded. All,” wrote Mikhailo Podolak, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency. . and one of the negotiators with Russia, on Wednesday evening.

As for Moscow, which has issued a number of ultimatums to Mariupol’s defenders, it is determined to seize the port that would allow it to link Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, to pro-separatist republics. Russian of Donbas.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on Wednesday evening that the humanitarian corridor negotiated in principle to allow the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol on Wednesday “did not work”.

She accused the Russians of violating the ceasefire and obstructing bus traffic, while Moscow accused “the Kiev authorities of obstructing this humanitarian operation.”

“go away”

In the east, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry on Wednesday morning reported “attempts to attack” the cities of Soligivka and Debrevny in the Kharkiv region, as well as in Rubzhneh and Sferodonetsk in the Lugansk region.

Ukrainian personnel carrier near the front line in the Izyum region on April 18, 2022 Anatoli Stepanov FB

“The situation is getting more complicated every hour,” Luhansk Governor Sergei Goday wrote in the Telegram. He again added his call to civilians: “Fill (…) leave!”

An AFP reporter said the shelling was also heavy in the south, particularly in the villages of Mala Tokmachka and Orekhev, 70 kilometers southeast of Zaporizhia.

As the fighting seemed far from the area last week, Russian attacks “shake homes and are more frequent,” according to Orikhiv resident Vitaly Duvpnya, who said he had placed a bag in the trunk of his car.

A senior Pentagon official said Russia had strengthened its military presence in eastern and southern Ukraine.

ballistic missile

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday that a successful test of a new ballistic missile “will make those who try to threaten our country think twice.”

But the Pentagon dismissed the importance of the test, saying it was a “routine” test and did not pose a “threat” to the United States or its allies.

It seems that this “new phase” of the war, as described by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, will be torturous, especially since Ukraine received heavy weapons that Westerners had previously been reluctant to provide.

After a long hesitation, Israel announced on Wednesday that it had agreed for the first time to send protective equipment (helmets and jackets) to the Ukrainian army, while Norway announced that it had provided Kiev with 100 anti-aircraft missiles designed by the French.

During a visit to Kiev, where he met with Mr Zelensky, European Council President Charles Michel stressed that the EU would do “whatever it can to support Ukraine and ensure that it wins the war”.

In particular, he promised that sanctions would soon target Russian oil and gas exports, as President Zelensky demanded.

The isolation of Russian personalities on the international stage seems to be growing.

Failing to exclude Moscow from the G-20, G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, boycotted sessions where Russian officials were scheduled to speak.

Wimbledon became the first major tennis tournament to exclude players individually, excluding Russians and Belarusians from the court, in a decision harshly criticized by the WTA and WTA and world number one Novak Djokovic, described as “crazy”.

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