(Paris) Even after having lost more than 10,000 inhabitants of the city, the Ukrainian army does not intend to capitulate in Mariupol. A group of fighters are currently hiding in the underground tunnels in order to outsmart the opponent.
The conquest of the city of Mariupol by the Russians is blocked by a group of fighters hidden in the tunnels of a vast industrial complex. These underground passages are very effective in creating uncertainty for the adversary, since they reduce the effectiveness of enemy artillery, air strikes, infantry, snipers and prevent satellite surveillance. For Russian forces, entering the tunnels is “impossible”, confirms Alexander Grinberg, analyst at the Jerusalem Institute for Security and Strategy (JISS). They “can try to do it, but they will be slaughtered because the defenders of the tunnels have the absolute tactical advantage”. This strategy was used many times, notably during the Indochina War and the Battle of Stalingrad in the 1940s.
The balance sheet is getting heavier
So far, at least 10,000 people have been killed in Mariupol, said the mayor of the municipality, Vadym Boichenko, who added that corpses “line the streets”. The mayor, however, specified that the death toll in Mariupol could exceed 20,000. of humanitarian convoys into the city, partly to cover up the carnage.
Ukraine said on Tuesday it was investigating an allegation that a toxic substance had been dropped on its troops. On the same day, Canada announced that it would investigate the matter. “We are working to independently confirm this information and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” said Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Marilyne Guèvremont, adding that the use of chemical weapons is prohibited by the international law, including the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Putin promises to continue the invasion
One thing is certain, Vladimir Putin does not intend to retreat anytime soon. Russia’s president vowed on Tuesday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would continue until it achieves its goals. He also claimed that everything was going according to plan, despite a major withdrawal of his troops in the face of fierce Ukrainian opposition and the deaths of many fighters. Russian troops, thwarted in their push towards the Ukrainian capital, are now concentrating on Donbass, in the east of the country.
Hundreds of rapes
On Tuesday, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, denounced “hundreds of cases of rape” observed in areas previously occupied by the Russian army after the start of the invasion, “including underage girls and tiny children”. “Almost daily, new mass graves are found,” he said. “Thousands and thousands of victims. Hundreds of cases of torture. Bodies continue to be found in sewers and cellars. »
The mayor of the Ukrainian town of Butcha, where corpses of civilians with bound hands and gunshot wounds to the head were discovered after Russian forces withdrew, said 403 bodies had been found so far. It is feared that the balance sheet will increase.
Mayor of Gostomel exhumed
In Gostomel, near Kyiv, the mayor, who was killed by Russian soldiers on March 7, was exhumed on Tuesday in front of Ukrainian investigators, as part of an investigation to determine if he was the victim of a crime of war. Using a long yellow rope, his corpse was hoisted from its grave. The police filmed each of his injuries, including one to the head, according to AFP journalists on the spot. According to the town hall, his death occurred “while he was distributing bread and medicine to the sick, and comforting the wounded”.
A “genocide” in Ukraine, according to Biden
Joe Biden also accused the Russian army of “genocide” in Ukraine on Tuesday, using this term for the first time to describe the situation. “Your family’s budget, your ability to fill up on gas, none of that should depend on a dictator declaring war and committing genocide on the other side of the world,” the president said. American during a trip to Iowa devoted to the fight against inflation.
Zelensky offers a trade
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, on Tuesday evening proposed in Moscow to “exchange” the Ukrainian deputy and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, close to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and recently arrested, against the Ukrainians in captivity in Russia. “I offer the Russian Federation to exchange this man for our boys and girls who are currently in captivity in Russia,” he said in a video address posted on Telegram.
With Agence France-Presse and The Canadian Press