By Fergal MacErlean • 18 April 2022 • 16:52
Some of the Ukraine Forces in Mariupol
Credit: @expatua, Twitter
A few thousand Ukrainian fighters are hoping to defend the city as Moscow seeks to secure its biggest victory of the war so far, SkyNews reports on April 18.
It is believed that the Ukrainian fighters are outnumbered six to one.
They command a four-square mile sprawling steel plant laced with tunnels.
Ukraine has said it will “fight absolutely to the end” as this last-known pocket of resistance in Mariupol hopes to defend the port city against Russian forces.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Ukraine’s soldiers will keep fighting in the besieged port city, which has been reduced to rubble in a seven-week siege.
Mariupol has long-been a strategically important port on the Sea of Azov, part of the Black Sea.
A Russian victory over Mariupol would mean Putin´s troops would then be freed up for the expected new offensive to take control of the Donbas region in the east of Ukraine.
General Sir Richard Barrons – former commander of UK Joint Forces Command – told the BBC capturing Mariupol is vital to Russia’s war effort.
“When the Russians feel they have successfully concluded that battle, they will have completed a land bridge from Russia to Crimea and they will see this as a major strategic success.”
If Mariupol was seized, Russia would also end up with full control of more than 80% of Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline.
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Originally from Dublin, Fergal is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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