Mariupol Surrenders to the Russian Army After Epic 82-Day Siege


Monday was the day that the Ukrainian garrison surrendered to Mariupol’s Azovstal steel and ironworks plant.

On March 19, the Russian military issued an ultimatum to the Mariupol defenses. It gave them just hours to surrender the city, and then they had to lay down their arms. They promised them “safe passage” to the garrison. Moscow called them “nationalists”, ‘foreign mercenaries’ and ‘bandits’.

After a three-month-long siege, the garrison was forced into a network of tunnels and bunkers that could withstand a nuclear attack. They were hungry and without food and ammunition and had no other options.

In the underground compound, things got direr. The underground compound was free from antibiotics and anesthesia for surgery and amputations. There were many attempts to find a way out. The Red Cross and the Vatican tried several times, but they couldn’t negotiate safe passage.

Two hundred Ukrainian prisoners were injured and taken to Donetsk. Other prisoners were transferred to Olenivka. According to the terms of surrender, they will be exchanged with a similar number of Russian prisoners.

The men eventually surrendered to the Russians. Gen. George Patton said that Russian officers “giv[ing] the appearance of recently civilized Mongolian bandits.” There are already plans to renege on the prisoner exchanging arrangement.

It’s unlikely that anyone who surrendered to the Russians will be able to survive.

The men holding Mariupol did all that was reasonable. They held 20,000 Russian soldiers in South Ukraine for over a month. These units suffered heavy losses and will need extensive reconstruction to regain combat effectiveness.