The Russian army has blockaded a strategic port of Mariupol, in eastern Ukraine the mayor said on Saturday, calling for the establishment of a corridor humanitarian.
“For now we are looking for solutions to humanitarian problems and all possible ways to get Mariupol out of the blockade,” said Vadim Boïtchenko.
Vadim Boïtchenko added,“Our priority is to establish a ceasefire so that we can restore vital infrastructure and set up a humanitarian corridor to bring food and medicine into the city”.
The capture by Russian forces of this city of some 450,000 inhabitants, located on the shores of the Sea of Azov, would be an important turning point in the invasion of Ukraine.
It would make it possible to make the connection between the Russian forces coming from annexed Crimea, which have already taken the key ports of Berdiansk and Kherson, and the separatist and Russian troops in the Donbass.
On Thursday, the mayor of Mariupol had been accused by Russian troops of wanting to besiege the city, destroying bridges and trains to prevent residents from leaving.
“For five days, our hometown, our family of half a million, has been under ruthless attack,” he wrote on Saturday morning, while calling for continued resistance.
According to him, the city is defended by units of the Ukrainian army, the National Guard, the ultra-nationalist Azov regiment, border guards and marine infantry.