LVIV, Ukraine -- Under relentless bombardment and a Russian blockade, the key port of Mariupol is holding out, but weapons and supplies shortages could weaken the resistance that has thwarted the Kremlin's invasion plans.
The mayor says an estimated 120,000 people remain in the city, out of Mariupol’s prewar population of about 450,000.
Mariupol has been a key objective for Russia since the start of the Feb. 24 invasion.
Mayor Vadym Boychenko told The Associated Press that at least 21,000 people were killed in Mariupol with bodies “carpeted through the streets.”
Moscow deployed fighters from Chechnya, known for their ferocity, to wage street battles in Mariupol.
Chechnya’s Moscow-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has repeatedly boasted on his messaging app channel about defeating Ukrainians in Mariupol, but the fight has continued.
“The Ukrainian troops in Mariupol are still fulfilling their main task by diverting the Russian forces from other areas. »