The Russian defense ministry says that its military forces cleared the urban area of the strategic city of Mariupol. Further, it added that only a tiny contingent of Ukrainian troops remained inside a steel factory in the overwhelmed southern port. However, the Russian claim to take control of Mariupol thoroughly couldn’t be independently verified.
The Russian defense ministry said its troops cleared Mariupol, the strategic port city. A small contingent of Ukrainian forces remained inside a steel factory in the overwhelmed southern port. Russian forces claimed to take control of Mariupol entirely. pic.twitter.com/j9q4FXiDrZ
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) April 18, 2022
It would be the first key city to fall to the Russian military since Russia claimed to have taken control of Kherson last month. The chief spokesperson of the Russian defense ministry, Igor Konashenkov, said that Russian forces completely cleared the whole urban region of Mariupol, and leftovers of the Ukrainian troops have completely defended the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant.
Konashenkov also said that their only chance of survival was to voluntarily lay down their weapons and surrender in front of Russian forces. He added that around fourteen hundred and sixty-four Ukrainian soldiers surrendered in the course of the liberation of Mariupol. The defense ministry said that Russian troops would spare their lives if Ukrainian forces still combating Mariupol surrendered their arms beginning at 06:00 am Moscow time.
Russian Proposed Deal
The defense ministry stated that taking into account the disastrous situation that developed at the Azovstal metallurgical plant, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation offered the militants of pro-independence battalions and foreign armed forces from 06:00 Moscow time on 17th April 2022 to stop any aggressions and lay down their arms.
Under the terms of the Russian proposed Saturday deal, the remaining defenders in the Azovstal plant would leave between 06:00 am and 01:00 pm Moscow time without ammunition or weapons. The ministry said that the start of the surrender would indicate by raising flags: “From the Ukrainian side – white; from the Russian side – red, around the whole border of Azovstal.”
Ukrainian Officials Rejected Russian Claim to Capture Mariupol
On Sunday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that Mariupol remains under Ukrainian control. Some hours after the expiration of a Russian deadline for holdout Ukrainian troops in the besieged city to surrender their weapons, Shmyhal told This Week of ABC News that Russian forces didn’t take over the city.
Reporters asked him about the claim of the Russian president that Moscow was winning the war; Shmyhal noted that while many Ukrainian cities were under siege, just Kherson fell under Russian control. Further, he added that over nine hundred towns, cities, and villages were freed from Russian military occupation. Shmyhal also said that Ukraine has no intention of surrendering to the eastern Donbas region.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that he discussed guaranteeing Ukrainian financial stability and groundwork for post-war reconstruction with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director Kristalina Georgieva. During an interview with CNN, Zelensky said Ukraine is ready to combat the Donbas region. The fight will b critical.
Discussed with IMF Managing Director @KGeorgieva the issue of ensuring Ukraine’s financial stability & preparations for post-war reconstruction. We have clear plans for now, as well as a vision of prospects. I’m sure cooperation between the IMF & 🇺🇦 will continue to be fruitful.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 17, 2022