Military expert Justin Crump, of the security consulting firm Sibylline, told the BBC that the Ukrainian defenders were really well prepared for the defense.
In his opinion, the Ukrainian military, defending the huge Azovstal steel plant, can hold out there long enough using tunnels, nuclear bunkers and guerrilla tactics. They had 50 days to fortify the territory and prepare their retreat. The expert says, quoting bb.lv:
“I suspect that they will be able to stay there for a long time: to make sorties at night and come back. These soldiers do not want to be captured, I do not think they will surrender. And Russia does not want to enter and clear meter by meter, underground, it is dangerous “.
Kramp notes that Ukraine, with the help of risky night missions, managed to replenish the forces of the besieged fighters.
On April 16, the Russian Ministry of Defense again called on the defenders of Mariupol to lay down their arms and cease all hostilities from 06:00 on 17 April. Everyone who laid down their arms was guaranteed the preservation of life. Mizintsev, head of the National Defense Control Center of the Russian Federation, claims that the content of the negotiations between the national formations and mercenaries blocked in Mariupol at the Azovstal metallurgical plant indicates their hopeless situation, they insistently demand permission from official Kyiv to surrender, but in response they receive threats of executions.
However, the Ukrainian military continues to defend the city. According to Justin Crump, the attempts of the Russians to show that the place of hostilities is limited only to the Azovstal steel plant does not correspond to reality.
In response to the ultimatum of the Russian military, one of the defenders of Mariupol told The Time correspondent Simon Shuster that they would not surrender the city, despite the encirclement by Russian troops and the constant fire of the enemy.
“Mariupol did not fall”defenders of the city “will stand to the end” – said the Prime Minister of Ukraine, confirming that the Ukrainian forces blocked at the Azovstal plant, refused to give up in captivity.