“Not enough heavy weapons”
Zelenskyj considers the liberation of Mariupol impossible
08/05/2022, 10:09 p.m.
The fighters who resist in the Mariupol Azovstal steelworks clearly show that they do not want to give up. However, President Zelenskyj currently sees no way to save them. The Ukrainian armed forces lack the military means to liberate the city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out liberating the port city of Mariupol, occupied by Russian troops. “Ukraine does not have enough heavy weapons to liberate Mariupol by military means,” Zelenskyj said during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who today visited Kyiv. for a solidarity visit.
At least it was possible, through diplomatic channels, to get civilians out of the besieged Azovstal steel mills, Zelensky said. For the remaining Ukrainian soldiers, however, an evacuation would be difficult. “Russian soldiers, the Russian army, the army leadership and the political leadership of the Russian Federation do not want to let our soldiers out,” said the Ukrainian head of state.
Kyiv has asked Turkey, Israel, France, Switzerland, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to mediate. More recently, the head of the largest Ukrainian Orthodox church in the Moscow Patriarchate, Onufri, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow Ukrainian soldiers to leave.
The port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine has been largely under Russian control for several weeks. Over the weekend, the last trapped civilians were evacuated from the town’s steelworks. Hundreds of Ukrainian defenders are said to have holed up in the factory bunkers. They underlined once again this Sunday that they do not want to capitulate.