The Ukrainian presidential adviser has called for a new round of negotiations. Ironically, in the strategically important city of Mariupol.
In view of the catastrophic situation in Mariupol, which has been contested for weeks, Ukraine has proposed a "special round of negotiations" with Russian representatives in the strategically important port city in the south of the country. Negotiations could take place "without preconditions," Ukrainian chief negotiator and presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
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The aim is to save the Ukrainian fighters, soldiers and civilians. "Because they belong to us. Because they are in my heart. Forever," explained Podoljak.
The Ukrainian armed forces in Mariupol published a dramatic appeal for help on Wednesday after almost two months of fierce fighting . His troops are "perhaps" facing their "last days, if not hours," said Ukrainian commander Serhiy Volyna. Moscow gave the Ukrainian soldiers a new ultimatum that expired on Wednesday afternoon.
In Mariupol, the Ukrainian soldiers who are still holding out have entrenched themselves in a steel works and from there they are putting up fierce resistance against the Russian attackers. According to the city authorities, at least a thousand civilians are also in the underground facilities of the steel mills.
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According to Kiev, the establishment of an escape corridor for civilians on Wednesday failed. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the Russian troops had violated the agreed ceasefire and blocked evacuation buses.
Taking Mariupol would be an important strategic victory for the Russian army in the Ukraine War. Control of the Sea of Azov port city would help Russia establish a direct land connection between the annexed Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists in Donbass. ( AFP )