Could the Russian victory in Mariupol turn the tide of the war in Ukraine?

This war Mariupol will occupy an important place in the war in Ukraine. there ukrainian hero reached its almost supernatural heights after a few hundred warriors hidden in the plant’s underground mousetrap. Azovstal It kept Russian troops busy for weeks and limited their ability to concentrate elsewhere. But it is undeniable that it is also Mariupol. biggest gain from Vladimir Putin No matter how much it has turned a city with a population of 450 thousand into rubble as it was before, Halep anyone Grozny. and although he is strategic value between main ukrainian port in Sea of ​​Azov Arguably, its weight during war may depend more on the symbolic substance from which both sides can get away with it than on the actual utility of a war. ruined city.

Mariupol for Putin and his Ukrainian allies, Important personl, after separatist forces Donetsk Y Luhansk In the Donbas, months after the start of the pro-Russian uprising, he tried to take the city in early 2015 but failed. As a reward for his resistance, the Ukrainian government capital of the Donetsk province and he pulled out his checkbook to invest in the city. Old public buildings were renovated and new parks and institutes of technology were built. The richest man in the country, away from the war a few miles north, Rinat Akhmetovhe also chose to make Mariúpol the center of his trading empire.

But Putin did not try to take over the country. city ​​resources. Strong one metallurgical industry and machineBesides being an important port for grain and steel exports, Mariúpol contributed about 3% of Ukraine’s GDP before the war. Now it’s a dilapidated wasteland that’s worth no more than it’s worth. geolocationThis is a Kremlin Army Land corridor between Crimea and Donbasmonopolize Control of the Sea of ​​Azov and shorten the distances Rostov-on-Don, one of the Russian cities that took the military lead of the invasion and the Crimean peninsula. “I don’t think it will have any impact on the course of this war,” Russian Crisis Group analyst Oleg Ignatov told this newspaper.

“The capture of Mariupol has been expected for a long time. The Russian Army has already shifted the bulk of its troops in the city to other parts of the Donbas, so the capture of Azovstal will not free up many soldiers. The value of Mariupol is more symbolic than anything else,” adds Ignatov . Of the major Ukrainian cities, the Kremlin had so far only conquered the southern port of Kherson, which fell in the first week of the war. Their most flamboyant goals are disastrously extinguished. He had to do it in the north. withdraw from Kyiv, Chernigiv and Sumi after weeks of relentless siege. And more recently, he was practically expelled from the Kharkov region, the country’s second largest city, located in the northeast.

The future of the war is determined in the Donbas

This is Donbas the key to this warIt’s the place to decide whether the Russian Army is also trying to eventually conquer it. Odessa Use it to seize all Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea and potentially merge with Moldovan Transnistria, or it will be stuck. Analysts agree that time is against them. heavy weapons This comes from the West to the Ukrainian Army. “The Russians are running out of equipment, especially their advanced missiles, and in parallel, the Ukrainians are getting stronger every day,” Neil Melvin, an analyst at the British Royal United Services Institute, told France Presse.

But Mariúpol also has a letter to the Kremlin that could at least serve to strengthen Russia. legitimacy of attacks in Ukraine. is none other than Soldiers of the Azov Battalion who, together with other Ukrainian forces, defended the Azovstal factory and made Mariupol one of their headquarters. Known for the neo-Nazi sympathies of many of its cadres, the Kremlin fascist ideology symbol a fallacy that Putin used to justify his war, which supposedly took over Ukraine,”denazification from the country.

Azov Battalion as a propaganda weapon

And now most of these soldiers are in the hands of their troops, thanks to the agreement between Kyiv and Moscow for the surrender of Azovstal. Ukrainian officials said they would be released in one day.prisoner exchangebut from the Russian Duma “war criminals‘ and the Supreme Court is weighing its designation as a “terrorist organisation.” Therefore, the Kremlin will likely use them to bolster its narrative. trial show“This way, he will be able to show the Russians who support the war that he has achieved his goal of de-Nazizing Ukraine,” thinks Crisis Group analyst Ignatov.

Source: Informacion


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