Russian forces claim capture of Mariupol’s commercial port

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Moscow, April 14, 2022 (dpa/NAN) The Russian army has on Thursday announced that it had taken complete control of Mariupol’s largely destroyed port, having liberated it from the Azov Battalion, a right-wing extremist paramilitary group.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the remaining Ukrainian troops in the city had been “blocked and were unable to escape encirclement.’’

The city of Mariupol has been under siege for weeks, with the remaining residents forced to hold out without water, food or power.

The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that Russian troops would probably capture the city next week.

Mariupol is of strategic importance to Moscow as Russia seeks to establish a land bridge between the Donbas region and the occupied Crimean Peninsula.

Moscow’s forces were focusing their attacks on the east and south of Ukraine and analysts predict a major new offensive in the region in the near future.

Meanwhile, in northern Ukraine, efforts were underway to clear large quantities of unexploded ordnance left behind by retreating Russian troops.

Mine clearance is ongoing as tens of thousands of unexploded shells and mines have been left in the region, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence noted that urban centres in Ukraine were facing repeated indiscriminate attacks from Russia.

“The towns of Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka are likely to be Russian targets for similar levels of violence.’’

The combination of widespread missile and artillery strikes and efforts to concentrate forces for an offensive represents a reversion to traditional Russian military doctrine, according to British analysts.

“However, this will require significant force levels.

“Ukraine’s continued defence of Mariupol is currently tying down significant numbers of Russian troops and equipment.’’ (dpa/NAN)

However, a top Ukrainian official has rejected Russian claims that it has taken control of the port in Mariupol and over 1,000 Ukrainian troops surrendered in the besieged south-eastern port city.

As the battle for Kyiv’s sovereignty continued for the 50th day, advisor to Ukraine’s Interior Minister Vadym Denysenko denied any information on the mass surrender highlighting that Mariupol still hasn’t fallen.

The ancient port city of Mariupol is one of the key areas of contention between Russia and Ukraine.

According to the city’s mayor Vadym Boychenko, there are still 1,20,000 people trapped inside the city in dire need of water, food, and warmth. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Russian television broadcasted photos and videos of the Ukrainian troops and those who sustained injuries were surrendering near the Ilyich Iron and Steelworks.