The city map below highlights the Steel Plant where the last of the “really out there” Azov Battalion (more like a division) and other units of the dwindling Ukrainian forces are using their American weapons to the last round duking it out with Chechen, Russian Marines, and LDPR units.
Before a few of today’s videos, first a bit about Mariupol.
The city is largely and traditionally Russian-speaking, while ethnically the population is divided about evenly between Ukrainians and Russians. There is also a significant ethnic Greek minority in the city.
In 2002, ethnic Ukrainians made up the largest percentage (48.7%) but less than half of the population; the second greatest ethnicity was Russian (44.4%). A June–July 2017 survey indicated that Ukrainians had grown to 59% of Mariupol’s population and the Russian share had dropped to 33%.
The city is home to the largest population of Pontic Greeks in Ukraine (“Greeks of Priazovye”) at 21,900, with 31,400 more in the six nearby rural areas, totaling about 70% of the Pontic Greek population of the area and 60% for the country.
Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Mariupol stood as a strategic target for Russian and pro-Russian forces. From 25 February, the city has been under siege. On 13 March the Red Cross warned that the siege had become a humanitarian crisis.
A month into the conflict, Ukrainian authorities said that about 90% of buildings in Mariupol were damaged or destroyed.[ An aid worker from the Red Cross described the conditions there as “apocalyptic”, with concerns for the humanitarian situation caused by severe damage to infrastructure, access to sanitation, and food shortages.
By 18 March, Mariupol was completely encircled and fighting reached the city centre, hampering civilian evacuation efforts.
On 24 March, Russian forces entered central Mariupol as part of the second phase of the invasion.
That operation is coming to a close as isolated Ukrainian units run out of supplies.
Mass surrender of 264+ Ukrainian servicemen from the 501st Separate Marine Battalion, 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.