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Ukrainians defy deadline to surrender in Mariupol or die

Ukraine Russia
Posted at 10:34 AM, Apr 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-17 10:34:35-04

KYIV, Ukraine — The battered port city of Mariupol appears on the brink of falling to Russian forces after seven weeks under siege.

Capturing the city would give Moscow a crucial success in Ukraine following a botched attempt to storm the capital and the loss of the Russian navy’s Black Sea flagship.

The Russian military estimated that about 2,500 Ukrainian fighters holding out at a hulking steel plant provided the last pocket of resistance in Mariupol.

A Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson said those who refuse to surrender by a Sunday deadline "will be destroyed.”

Seizing Mariupol would free up Russian forces for an offensive in eastern Ukraine, where Russia has focused after the failure to take Kyiv.