Russia advances in its new offensive against Ukraine and this time the use of chemical weapons is being investigated. It is feared that the new escalation will be much bloodier, and that Mariupol will definitively remain in Putin’s hands.
Vladimir Putin’s government had announced the withdrawal of its troops from Ukraine; although many considered it a good sign that the war could be coming to an end, countries such as the United States warned that it was really a strategy to reorganize and attack again.
The last battle for Mariupol: running out of ammunition
This Tuesday, April 12, Ukraine reported that the major Russian offensive began in the east and that Russia continues to build up forces in the Donbas region.
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On Monday the invading forces announced the seizure of the entire port of the city of Mariupol. For his part, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, admitted that things are not going well in that locality. “The occupiers,” he assured, “do not even allow food and water to be sent,” he said.
The Ukrainian defense forces fear that this offensive is the last chance to regain Mariupol, which is already in Russian hands: “Today will probably be the last battle for Mariupol, as the ammunition is running out,” said members of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in a statement published on social networks, according to Agence France Presse.
“It will be death for some of us and captivity for the rest,” they sentenced, after admitting that enemy forces have been seizing ground.
“We did not abandon our positions. We held every inch of this city as best we could. But the reality is that the city is under siege, in a ring. There has been no supply of ammunition or food. We have held out to the end. We are grateful to all Ukrainians who believed and still believe in the Marines. We have clung to this faith for a long time. We have not abandoned our positions. We have always remained faithful,” one of the Marines said in a video posted on Facebook.
They warn that Russia used chemical weapons.
On Monday, the Azov Battalion under the Ukrainian Interior Ministry accused Russian troops of using chemical weapons during an attack on the port city of Mariupol.
According to the chairwoman of the Parliamentary Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the EU, Ivanna Klympush, Russian troops used “an unknown substance in Mariupol.”
“The victims experienced respiratory failure. Most likely chemical weapons. This is the red line beyond which the world must destroy the economy of despotism,” she said.
“Russian occupation forces have used a poisonous substance of unknown origin against Ukrainian servicemen and civilians in the city of Mariupol, which was launched from an enemy drone,” the military group denounced, according to the Ukrainian agency UNIAN.
The regiment also reported that the victims reportedly had respiratory failure, dizziness, vomiting and apparently nervous system problems, according to The Kyiv Independent.
Following the initial reports, the Pentagon also weighed in on this alleged attack with chemical weapons: “We are aware of reports that Russian forces deployed a possible chemical munition in Mariupol, Ukraine. We cannot confirm this at this time and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
“These reports, if true, are very disturbing and reflect concerns we have had about the possibility of Russia’s use of various riot control agents, including tear gas mixed with chemical agents, in Ukraine,” the Pentagon added in a brief statement.
“Reports that Russian forces may have used chemical agents in an attack on the people of Mariupol. We are working urgently with partners to verify details. Any use of such weapons would be a callous escalation in this conflict and we will hold Putin and his regime to account,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss added on her social networks.
Sabrina Martín Rondon is a Venezuelan journalist. Her source is politics and economics. She is a specialist in corporate communications and is committed to the task of dismantling the supposed benefits of socialism // Sabrina Martín Rondon es periodista venezolana. Su fuente es la política y economía. Es especialista en comunicaciones corporativas y se ha comprometido con la tarea de desmontar las supuestas bondades del socialismo