Mariupol don become di city wey don receive more bomb and damage for Ukraine war with Russia.
Na di city don suffer pass from Russian attacks.
E dey key to Moscow military campaign for Ukraine. But why?
E get four main reasons why taking over di port city go be strategic win for Russia – and big blow for Ukraine.
1. To Secure land corridor between Crimea and Donbas
Base on di position of di land, di city of Mariupol occupy only one tiny area for di map.
But now e dey block di way of Russian forces wey burst out of di Crimean peninsula.
Di forces dey push North-East to try to link up with dia friends and Ukrainian-separatist supporters wey dey di Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
General Sir Richard Barrons – former commander of UK Joint Forces Command tok say to capture Mariupol dey important to Russia war effort.
“Wen di Russians feel say don don successfully conclude dat battle, dem go don complete one land bridge from Russia to Crimea and dem go see dis as one big strategic success.”
If dem seize Mariupol, Russia go also end up with full control of more than 80% of Ukraine Black Sea coastline – cut-off dia maritime trade and go further to isolate am from di world.
By fighting against forces wey dey try break in for di past three weeks, di defending Ukrainians don manage to dominate plenti number of Russian troops.
But as Russia fail to secure quick capture of the city, dis don make Russian commanders to fall back to 21st Century version of mediaeval siege plan.
Dem don hammer Mariupol with artillery, rockets and missiles – damage or destroy over 90% of the city.
Dem don also cut off access to electricity, heating, fresh water, food and medical supplies – dis don create man-made humanitarian catastrophe wey Moscow now dey blame on Ukraine for refusing to surrender by di 05:00 deadline on Monday.
One Ukrainian MP did not accuse Russia of “trying to starve Mariupol to surrender”.
Ukraine don promise to defend di city down to di last soldier.
Russian troops dey slowly push go di center and as any kind of workable peace deal neva dey, Russia now dey likely to increase dia bombardment.
If, and wen, Russia take full control of Mariupol dis go free up close to 6,000 of dia troops – wey dey organize into 1,000-strong battalion tactical groups – to then go and reinforce oda Russian fronts around Ukraine.
E get some number of possibilities as to where dey fit redeploy dem:
- To di north-east to join di battle to encircle and destroy Ukraine regular armed forces wey dey fight pro-Kremlin separatists for di Donbas region
- To west to push towards Odessa, wey go be Ukraine last remaining major outlet to di Black Sea
- To the north-west towards the city of Dnipro
2. E go Strangle Ukraine economy
Mariupol don for long dey strategically important port for di Sea of Azov, part of di Black Sea.
With deep berths, Mariupol is the largest port for the Azov Sea region and home to one major iron and steel works.
For normal times, Mariupol na key export hub for Ukraine steel, coal and corn wey dem dey send go give customers for di Middle East and oda areas.
For eight years now, since Moscow illegal annexation of Crimea for 2014, the city has been uncomfortably in between Russian forces for the peninsula.
And pro-Kremlin separatists for breakaway self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Losing Mariupol go be one ogbonge blow to wetin dey left of Ukraine economy.
3. Propaganda opportunity
Mariupol na home to one Ukrainian militia unit wey dem call di Azov Brigade, wey dey name afta di Sea of Azov wey link Mariupol to di rest of di Black Sea.
The Azov Brigade contains far-right extremists including neo-Nazis.
Although dey form only di tiniest fraction of Ukraine fighting forces, dis don be useful propaganda tool for Moscow.
E give dem di excuse to tell Russia population say di young men wey dem send to fight inside Ukraine dey here to free dia neighbor from neo-Nazis.
If Russia manages to capture alive ogbonge numbers of Azov Brigade fighters, e dey likely say dey go dey parade di fighters on Russian state-controlled media as part of di ongoing information war to discredit Ukraine and dia goment.
4. Na Ogbonge moral boost
Di capture of Mariupol by Russia, if dis happen, go be psychologically significant for both sides for dis war.
One Russian victory for Mariupol go help Kremlin to show dia population – through state-controlled media – say Russia dey achieve dia aims and making progress.
For President Putin, we dis war appear to dey personal to am, and get historical significance to all dis.
E dey see Ukraine Black Sea coastline as if e belong to something wey dem call Novorossiya (New Russia) – Russian lands wey date back to di 18th Century empire.
Putin wants to re-bring back that concept, “rescuing Russians from the tyranny of one pro-western goment inside Kyiv” as he sees am. Mariupol is currently standing for Putin’s way to achieve this goal.
But to Ukrainians, di loss of Mariupol go be major blow – not just militarily and economically – but also to di mind of di men and women wey dey fight on di ground, defending dia kontri.
Mariupol go be di first major city to fall to di Russians afta Kherson, one strategically much less important city wey dem no too dey defend.
Mariupol don try put up strong resistance – but look wetin dis don cost dem.
Di city don dey destroy, e go enta inside history alongside Grozny and Aleppo, dat na places wey Russia finally bomb and shell into submission, reducing dem to rubble.
Di message to oda Ukrainian cities dey clear – if you choose to resist like Mariupol, then make you expect di same fate.
“Russians don’t fit walk into Mariupol,” said Sir Richard Barrons. important to dem. “