Mariupol Siege: Russia Tells The City To Surrender
Mariupol Siege: Russia Tells The City To Surrender
The city of Mariupol in Ukraine has taken a punishing siege from the Russians.
The full scope of the brutality inflicted on the civilian population of Mariupol by the Russian army is a feature, not a bug, of the old Soviet war playbook. A children’s hospital and maternity ward was bombed, with mass casualties. A theater doubling as civilian bomb shelter was destroyed, with survivors trapped under rubble. On Sunday, Ukraine said that the art school in Mariupol, which was sheltering 400 people, was bombed. The children in Mariupol are wounded by Russian shells, being killed in the streets, and are unable to be evacuated because the Russians are determined to practice “total war” on the population. There are now reports, still unconfirmed, by the city council that women and children have been “deported” to Russia. If anyone needed proof that “war is hell,” Mariupol is that proof.
And President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling what is happening in Mariupol a “war crime” and something that will be remembered a century from now.
The Russians, for their part, have issued a message to the city: yes, what is happening to Mariupol is terrible, so surrender on Monday morning, or else.
“A terrible humanitarian catastrophe has developed,” Col.-Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who leads the Russian National Center for Defense Management, said, calling for Ukrainians to “lay down your arms,” according to Reuters.”
“All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol,” he added, noting that humanitarian corridors to allow for safe evacuations would begin at 10 a.m. Moscow time on Monday.”
However, the government of Ukraine has no intention of surrendering Mariupol, and Russia has been (probably intentionally) unclear what will happen if the city doesn’t surrender to them.
Russian Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said it would allow two corridors out of Mariupol, heading either east toward Russia or west to other parts of Ukraine.”
Mariupol residents were given until 5 a.m. Monday to respond to the offer. Russia didn’t say what action it would take if it was rejected.”
But Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said no.”
“There can be no talk of any surrender, laying down of arms. We have already informed the Russian side about this,” she told the news outlet Ukrainian Pravda. “I wrote: `Instead of wasting time on eight pages of letters, just open the corridor.’”
Mariupol Mayor Piotr Andryushchenko also rejected the offer, saying in a Facebook post he didn’t need to wait until morning to respond and cursing at the Russians, according to the news agency Interfax Ukraine.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense said authorities in Mariupol could face a military tribunal if they sided with what it described as “bandits,” the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported.”
Why is Mariupol so important? Allahpundit on Hot Air points out that if the Russians can get control of Mariupol, it will give them more time and options as they try to push inland.
Seizing the city gives Russia control of the entire Ukrainian coastline on the Sea of Azov, from Crimea in the south to the Donbas — Luhansk and Donetsk — in the east. Once they’ve gained that territory, they have multiple strategic options. They could push west to try to finally take Mykolaiv and eventually Odessa, Ukraine’s key port on the Black Sea. Or they could push north towards Dnipro, potentially linking up with Russian forces heading south from Kharkiv if and when that city finally succumbs to Russia’s bombardment. If forces in the north and south can meet in Dnipro, Ukraine’s forces fighting in the east would suddenly find themselves surrounded.”
We know Putin wants complete control of Ukraine, if he can get it. Gaining control of Mariupol would be a step forward in that goal. However, his army is probably not up to that task.
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) March 20, 2022
What mobilization measures? Ukraine is saying that they have documents showing that Russian cadets are being sent to Ukraine.
Ukrainian defense officials claimed Sunday to have obtained documents that indicate Russia has ordered the deployment of cadets to Ukraine.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly told his people that the army is not utilizing cadets, but photos of the documents posted online indicate that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has signed an order to the contrary.”
The deployment will see Yunarmia cadets aged 17 and 18 pushed to the frontlines in Ukraine.”
It is true that Putin has told the Russian people a lot of things, like that army conscripts were “accidentally” sent to Ukraine when they weren’t supposed to be there. Suuuuuuure. Given the speculated number of losses that American intelligence has estimated (more than we lost in both Iraq and Afghanistan combined, and that’s the “conservative” estimate), Russia is running out of soldiers to throw into their woodchipper. You really think Putin is going to bat an eye at sending teenagers to fight in Ukraine?
After all, he doesn’t have a problem with bombing and starving civilians in Mariupol. The city is not going to surrender. I guess we will be learning shortly just what is going to happen there.
Featured image: Russian bombing of Mariupol from Wikimedia Commons via a Facebook post from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ukraine (credit: mvs.gov.ua), cropped, Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)