LUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Saturday that the “elimination” of the last Ukrainian soldiers present in the port city of Mariupol besieged by Russian forces “would put an end to all peace negotiations” with Moscow. “The elimination of our military, our men (in Mariupol) will put an end to any negotiations” for peace between Russia and Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky said in remarks reproduced by the news website Ukrayinska Pravda, warning that the two parties would then find themselves in “an impasse”.
In terms of human toll, “Mariupol, it can be ten times Borodyanka”, a small Ukrainian town near kyiv destroyed after being shelled and the scene of alleged abuses during its occupation by Russian soldiers, accused Volodymyr Zelensky. “And the more Borodyanka there are, the more difficult it will be” to negotiate, he stressed.
Between 20,000 and 22,000 dead in Mariupol
On April 11, the Ukrainian army announced that it was preparing for “a final battle” in Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, in the Southeast. “It will be death for some of us and captivity for others,” wrote the 36 on Facebook.and marine brigade, which is part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The next day, the Ukrainian authorities said that the fighting had left between 20,000 and 22,000 dead in Mariupol, a strategic city which had a peacetime population of 441,000. Talks between the belligerents have been stalled for several days. They are “extremely difficult”, according to the remarks Tuesday of an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, Mykhaïlo Podoliak. Russian President Vladimir Putin has meanwhile accused the Ukrainian negotiators of “lack of consistency”.