Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Russia fights for control of Ukraine's Mariupol stronghold

World May 04, 2022 07:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at the Lukoil company owned Imilorskoye oil field outside the West Siberian city of Kogalym, Russia, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo 2/2

By Natalia Zinets and Francesco Guarascio

KYIV/BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Russian forces battled on Wednesday for control of the last stronghold in Ukraine's besieged city of Mariupol, Ukrainian officials said, and the European Union proposed tough new sanctions against Moscow including a phased oil embargo.

Mariupol authorities say some 200 civilians, as well as Ukrainian fighters, are still holed up in a vast network of underground bunkers in the Azovstal steel plant, which has suffered repeated bombardment from encircling Russian troops.

Civilians who were evacuated to safety this week under a United Nations-led deal voiced fear for those still trapped inside.

"God forbid more shells hit near the bunkers where the civilians are," said evacuee Tetyana Trotsak, who was among dozens of Ukrainians who reached the Ukraine-controlled town of Zaporizhzhia on Tuesday.

After failing to capture the capital Kyiv in the early weeks of an assault that has killed thousands and flattened cities, Russia has accelerated attacks on Ukraine's south and east, where the Azov Sea port of Mariupol is its main target.

Russia declared victory over Mariupol on April 21 after weeks of siege and shelling. The city is key to Moscow's efforts to cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea - vital for grain and metals exports - and link Russian-controlled territory in the south and east.

Ukrainian fighters inside Azovstal are fighting "difficult, bloody battles" against Russian troops, said Denis Prokopenko, a commander with Ukraine's Azov regiment. A Ukrainian parliamentarian said Russian forces were inside the plant.

Russia's military said it would pause military activity at Azovstal during Thursday daytime and the following two days to allow civilians to evacuate.

Humanitarian corridors will be opened "for the evacuation of civilians (working personnel, women and children) whose presence in the underground facilities of the plant (has) been announced by the Kyiv authorities," Russia's military said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to help rescue more people from the plant.

"The lives of the people who remain there are in danger. Everyone is important to us. We ask for your help in saving them," Zelenskiy said.

Over 300 civilians were evacuated from Mariupol and other areas in southern Ukraine as part of a joint U.N.-Red Cross operation that concluded on Wednesday, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine Osnat Lubrani said.

"While this second evacuation of civilians from areas in Mariupol and beyond is significant, much more must be done to make sure all civilians caught up in fighting can leave, in the direction they wish," Lubrani said.

'PUTIN MUST PAY A PRICE'

Piling pressure on Russia's already battered $1.8 trillion economy, Brussels proposed phasing out imports of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of this year.

"(President Vladimir) Putin must pay a price, a high price, for his brutal aggression," European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told applauding EU lawmakers in Strasbourg.

The plan, if agreed by all 27 EU governments, would follow U.S. and British oil bans and be a watershed for the world's largest trading bloc, which remains dependent on Russian energy and must find alternative supplies.

U.S. President Joe Biden said he would speak to other Group of Seven leaders this week about possible further steps against Moscow. "We're always open to additional sanctions," Biden told reporters in Washington.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the news from the EU, but stressed the urgency of acting to starve Russia's war machine.

"My position is simple: every euro paid to Russia for gas, oil or other goods ends up as rounds of ammunition in Ukraine to kill my compatriots," he told Austrian TV channel Puls 4 in an interview.

The Kremlin said Russia was weighing various responses to the EU plan, adding that the measures would be costly for European citizens.

A source said EU envoys could reach a deal on Thursday or later this week on the plan, which also targets Russia's top bank, its broadcasters, and hundreds of individuals.

'WE ARE READY'

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu renewed a warning that Moscow would seek to hit U.S and NATO shipments of weapons into Ukraine.

His ministry said Russian forces disabled six railway stations used to deliver Western arms to Ukraine's east. It later said it hit 77 military targets throughout the day, including ammunition depots and artillery.

Ukrainian authorities said Russian strategic bombers fired 18 rockets "with the aim of damaging our country's transport infrastructure" and confirmed an attack on the railways.

Announcing surprise military drills, Belarus's defence ministry said they posed no threat to neighbours, but Ukraine's border service said it could not rule out that Belarusian forces might join Russia's assault.

"Therefore, we are ready," spokesman Andriy Demchenko said.

Some Russian forces entered Ukraine via Belarus when the invasion began on Feb. 24 but so far no Belarusian troops have been involved in what Moscow calls a "special military operation" to disarm Ukraine and defend its Russian-speaking population from fascists.

Kyiv and its Western supporters say Moscow's fascism claim is a pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression that has driven more than 5 million Ukrainians to flee abroad.

The Kremlin on Wednesday dismissed speculation Putin would formally declare war on Ukraine and decree a national mobilisation on May 9, when Russia commemorates the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.

Putin is due to deliver a speech and oversee a May 9 military parade in Moscow's Red Square.

Russia fights for control of Ukraine's Mariupol stronghold
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (3)
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi May 04, 2022 4:52AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
"Announcing the surprise military drills, Belarus's defence ministry said they posed no threat to its neighbours"  --- sure, there is no reason whatsoever we should doubt that, it's not like the Belarus military invaded any of its neighbors last month........
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA May 04, 2022 4:52AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Nah Belarus army wants nothing to do woth Ukraine. They see the writing on the wall and would likely depose Putin’s puppet first.
Brook Buck
Brook Buck May 04, 2022 2:19AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
very sad for the country
William Smith
William Smith May 04, 2022 12:29AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Molasses runs faster in the winter than the leaders in Europe make decisions.
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi May 04, 2022 12:29AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
if only they can be as speedy and efficient as those republicans in US Congress.......
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email