Ukraine says its forces are ‘holding on’ in Mariupol despite Russian claims they had been driven out
Sinéad Baker – April 7, 2022
Ukraine said its troops in Mariupol were “holding on,” but added the situation for them is tough.
A Donetsk People’s Republic official had claimed: “the main battles have ended.”
Russia’s state RIA news said the official said Ukrainian forces had been “practically cleared” from the city center.
Ukraine said its troops are still fighting in the city of Mariupol after Russia said it had driven the defenders out.
Alexei Arestovich, an adviser to Ukraine’s president, said in a Thursday news briefing that Ukraine’s forces “are holding on, however difficult it is for them there,” The Washington Post reported.
He said Russia had “renewed its offensive against Mariupol.”
He made his statement after Russia said it had taken the city earlier on Thursday.
Russia’s state RIA news outlet reported that pro-Russia forces had “practically cleared the center of Mariupol from Ukrainian formations,” citing Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the Donetsk People’s Republic — a Russia-backed breakaway region of Ukraine.
The report quoted Basurin as telling Russia 24: “Regarding the situation in Mariupol, the central part of the city, one can say that the main battles have ended.”
Mariupol has been one of Ukraine’s worst-hit areas in Russia’s invasion. Troops have targeted the city with weeks of intense shelling, including numerous Russian attacks against civilians targets like a hospital and a theater.