The bustling port city of Mariupol on the Azov Sea has been the center of a bitter battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces for the past seven weeks.
President Volodymyr Zelensky described the city as “the epicenter of this war.” News from the BBC.
Despite many attempts, Ukrainian troops failed to break the blockade.
It is estimated that there are still about 100,000 inhabitants and 1,500 Ukrainian troops have taken refuge there.
Before the war, Mariopole had a population of about half a million. It was a busy port and industrial city.
The city has become one of the main targets of Russian forces.
In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, which many consider to be illegal, including in the West.
Russia claims Mariupol is “almost” under their control.
Even a leader from the isolated regions of eastern Ukraine was appointed as the city’s new mayor. However, the former pro-Russian local councilor did not understand his responsibilities.
Significant industrial areas, such as ports and Azovstal steel mills, are still under the control of Ukrainian troops.