Fighters in Mariupol said they are running critically short of food, ammunition and medical supplies in the face of a looming Russian assault, as a senior Ukrainian government official said getting help to the besieged Azov port city is impossible, news reports and official statements said on Monday, April 11.
Sviatoslav Palamar, Vice Commander of the Azov National Guard Regiment, a backbone unit in a force of several thousand Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) combatants manning Mariupol’s defenses, said fighters have neither received neither food, ammunition nor reinforcements from the central government for more than two weeks.
National army command has effectively abandoned the idea of even attempting to relieve the Russian Federation (RF) siege of Mariupol, and in recent weeks the only thing the generals in Kyiv have offered Mariupol defenders, is the suggestion they resupply themselves by capturing food and weapons from a massively superior RF attack force, Palamar said, in a video statement widely distributed in Ukrainian independent and social media.
Presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych in a Sunday interview published by the government said UAF forces are too far away from Mariupol and too weak to attempt the break the RF siege, in progress since the fourth day of the war. At least 5,000 civilians have died and at least 200,000 have become refugees during battles in and around the city, according to Mariupol city government statements.
Were the UAF to attempt to send a relief force, RF ground attack jets and helicopters would annihilate it well before it reached Mariupol, Arestovych said. In previous weeks UAF low-flying helicopters had been able to deliver limited amounts of ammunition and remove the worst-wounded, but increasingly effective RF air defenses have made that supply route impossible, he said.
An unconfirmed Telegram statement attributed to 36 Marine Brigade, the main UAF regular army unit in Mariupol, claimed Mariupol defense forces proposed Kyiv leadership a number of possible plans for defenders to break out of the city during March, but the suggestions were ignored.
RF forces are preparing to launch a major offensive in the east of Mariupol with the objective of capturing the Azov steel factory, long a key strong point in the UAF defense network, the statement said.
A Monday situation estimate by British Army intelligence said a renewed RF offensive in Mariupol was likely. Chances that RF forces will attack using phosphorus shells – a incendiary weapon banned by the Geneva
convention because it will set human flesh on fire – are increasing, the estimate said.
The impending RF assault is also likely to target Mariupol’s port and resort beach waterfront, in an attempt to bottle up Mariupol defenders in the center of the city, a Monday situation estimate from Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) said.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter