Russian Forces Close To Capturing Mariupol; Know Why Next Week Will Be Decisive
Moscow: Russian forces are close to capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol, The New York Times reported on Friday.
This win will help Russia claim the land route from Crimea to send reinforcements to the eastern Donbas region, where it is now concentrating troops for what analysts predict will be a major offensive, the report said.
On the other hand, Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which was damaged by an explosion on Wednesday, has sunk. “While being towed… towards the destined port, the vessel lost its balance due to damage sustained in the hull as fire broke out after ammunition exploded. Given the choppy seas, the vessel sank,” BBC reported, quoting the Russian defence ministry message. It is being seen as a serious blow to Moscow and its national pride, as the 510-crew missile cruiser was a symbol of Russia’s military power and led the naval assault on Ukraine.
According to military analysts, the loss of Moskva will make it more difficult for Russia to gain full control over Ukraine’s southern coast and ultimately move on to the port city of Odesa.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned of a major Russian assault in eastern Ukraine. According to European and NATO diplomats, President Vladimir Putin may unleash an offensive designed to declare some sort of victory by the May 9 anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II. However, its troops risk repeating at least some of the mistakes made in trying to take the capital, Kyiv, the Bloomberg reported.
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