The Tragedy of Mariupol: A City Under Siege
Mariupol, a port city located in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, has been under direct Russian control since May 2022. However, the events that led to this takeover were nothing short of gruesome. The Russian attacks on Mariupol began on February 24, 2022, and the city has since become a symbol of resistance for Ukrainians.
Worst atrocities of the war:
The city was subjected to some of the war’s worst atrocities. In March, an airstrike tore through a maternity and children’s hospital in the city. Russian officials claimed the hospital was a justifiable military target, citing that Ukrainian military targets were present on site.
However, footage circulating on social media showed expectant mothers being escorted out of a ruined building amid charred cars and debris. Among the injured was a pregnant woman who was photographed being carried out on a stretcher. Her and her baby’s lives were tragically lost, causing shockwaves around the world.
Also in March, Russia bombed a theater where hundreds of people had taken shelter in Mariupol. The word “children” was spelled out on two sides of the theater before it was bombed.
City under siege:
Of the 450,000 people who lived in the city before the war, a third had already left by mid-April, according to Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko. Some of those who stayed took refuge in the Azovstal steel plants. To Ukrainians, Azovstal became a potent symbol of resistance, sheltering about 2,600 soldiers and civilians while the fortress-like facility was pummeled by Russian bombardment for weeks.
To Moscow, the vast site was a frustration, the last stubborn holdout in a city that its forces had otherwise taken control over weeks earlier. “Block off the industrial site, so that not even a fly can escape,” Putin said, his command broadcast on state-run television.
Why Mariupol became a target:
Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Holding, which owns the plant, stated that he believes it’s not the plant that Putin wants to take but the symbolism of conquering Mariupol. They never expected Mariupol to resist.
Azovstal finally fell in late May after an evacuation operation managed to rescue hundreds of Ukrainians from the plant.
The tragedy of Mariupol is a sobering reminder of the brutal consequences of war. This article was written to provide context and detail to the events that occurred in Mariupol and to remember those whose lives were lost in the conflict. As Ukraine works to rebuild and recover from the devastation, may the world never forget the resilience and strength of the people of Mariupol.#Live #updates #Russias #war #Ukraine