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Analyst: Russia took too long, too many people to “take” Mariupol

Analyst: Russia takes too long, too many people to

Pro-Russian forces outside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine May 16, 2022. Reuters photo.

When the Russian military began taking over Mariupol, a port city in southern Ukraine last month, a group of Ukrainian fighters, namely the Azov Battalion, retreated into the giant tunnels beneath the Azovstal steel plant to continue to resist.

At one point, the Russian military was preparing to storm the steel plant, but President Vladimir Putin unexpectedly canceled the raid on April 21 and instead called for a blockade of Azovstal “so that not a single fly will be left.” can get through”.

In the end, this strategy also worked. After weeks of fending off attacks from the Russian military, the Ukrainian military announced earlier this week that it would be evacuating soldiers who had “completed their combat mission”.

Meanwhile, Russia claims that the Ukrainian military’s move to surrender is not an evacuation and this gives Moscow full control over Mariupol.

One analyst told Insider that the Ukrainian military far exceeded expectations, “withstanding for more weeks than anticipated.”

Analysts believe that, thanks to this fierce resistance, Ukraine has forced Russia to pay a high price to gain control of this port city.

In its statement, the Ukrainian military said that Russia had to send 20,000 troops to the steel plant and because of that, they were dispersed so that they could not attack other targets in Ukraine.

“We took the much-needed time to build up our reserves, regroup our forces and get help from our partners,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement.

“The remarkable achievement of the (Ukraine) defenders is not only to hold out for more weeks than anticipated, but also to bring them down,” said Keir Giles, senior consultant for Russia and Eurasian programs at Chatham House. defeated large numbers of Russian soldiers and made the task of the defenders of Ukraine in the rest of the country easier.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky commented, 83 days of defending Mariupol will go down in history when Ukraine “holds” a huge force for weeks.

“The defense forces of “Azovstal” foiled (Russia’s) plans to capture eastern Ukraine, and demonstrated their and Russia’s real “fighting capabilities” … This changed the whole situation completely. represent the war,” said Mr. Podolyak.

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