Why the battle for Mariupol’s steel still matters

Russia Ukraine Mariupol Explainer

FILE – A Russian military convoy moves on a highway in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces near Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 16, 2022. Mariupol, which is part of the industrial region in eastern Ukraine known as the Donbas, has been a key objective for Russia since the start of the Feb. 24 invasion. (AP Photo/Alexei Alexandrov, File)

MARIUPOL, U.K.R. -Russian President Vladimir Putin is claiming control over Ukraine’s seaside city of Mariupol even as its defenders are holding out inside a massive steel mill near the water.

His statement reflects the importance of the Sea of Azov port and appeared to be a Kremlin attempt to declare victory without storming the Azovstal plant, which represents the last Ukrainian resistance there.

Mariupol is part of eastern Ukraine’s industrial region known as the Donbas and a key objective since the Feb. 24 invasion began. Its capture would allow Russia to establish a land corridor from its border to the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed from Ukraine in 2014. It also would deprive Ukraine of a major port and industrial assets.

Categories: National News