Explain the significance of the fall of Mariupol on three maps

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A devastated and symbolic battlefield

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Russian troops surrounded Mariupol early in the war and many residents fled. An estimated 120,000 civilians, about a quarter of the pre-war population, remain in the city. Russian attacks on a maternity hospital, theater and arts school housing civilians have drawn international condemnation and charges of war crimes.

The Russian army cut off food, electricity and medical supplies. Even with the lines of communication cut, harrowing stories of hunger and despair emerged.


movement of troops and held by the Russians

areas in Mariupol

Separatist-

control

region

Russian forces approached Mariupol from the east and began shelling the city.

After taking control of the town of Berdyansk located nearly 50 miles to the west, the Russians attacked from the east and west, encircling the town.

An airstrike hit a theater where hundreds of people had taken refuge. The Russians continued to bombard and advance on the town.

The Russians are ready to take

control of the city, while the Ukrainians hold the Azovstal steelworks, where hundreds of civilians are gathered.

movement of troops and Areas under Russian control in Mariupol

Separatist-

control

region

Russian forces approached Mariupol from the east and began shelling the city.

After taking control of the town of Berdyansk located nearly 50 miles to the west, the Russians attacked from the east and west, encircling the town.

An airstrike hit a theater where hundreds of people had taken refuge. The Russians continued to bombard and advance on the town.

The Russians are about to take control of the city, while the Ukrainians hold the Azovstal steelworks, where hundreds of civilians are gathered.

movement of troops and Areas under Russian control in Mariupol

movement of troops and Areas under Russian control in Mariupol

Separatist-

control

region

Separatist-

control

region

After taking the city of

Berdyansk located nearly 50 miles to the west, the Russians attacked from the east and west, encircling the city.

Russian forces approached Mariupol from the east and began shelling the city.

An airstrike hit a theater where hundreds of people had taken refuge. The Russians continued to bombard and advance on the town.

The Russians are ready to take

control of the city, while the Ukrainians hold the Azovstal steelworks, where hundreds of civilians are gathered.

Three weeks into the siege, Ukrainian forces – including the controversial Azov Battalion – weakened and the Russian forces penetrated deeper into the city. Early this week, it was clear Ukrainian fighters were making their last stand at the steel mill, where a commander told the Washington Post that his soldiers were “dying underground.”

For Ukraine and Russia, Mariupol has a symbolic meaning. Ukrainian troops and Moscow-backed forces have previously fought over control of the city. In 2014, after war broke out in eastern Ukraine, Russian-backed separatists briefly took Mariupol before kyiv troops retook it in June.

A Russian victory would make Mariupol the first major Ukrainian city to fall since the February invasion, giving Putin a propaganda boost. But Mariupol is also notable for how long Ukrainian forces have been able to defend it, Charap said.

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