”There are still Ukrainian soldiers in the city.” Zelenskyy responded to Russiaʼs statement on the capture of Mariupol

Anna Kholodnova

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy commented on Russiaʼs statements about the alleged capture of Mariupol during talks with the media following the visit of the Prime Ministers of Spain and Denmark.

He said the city still has a unit controlled by the Ukrainian military.

"The situation is difficult. The situation is bad. It has hardly changed since yesterday. Several thousand people of our military, as well as civilians who are next to them, are blocked. These are mostly women and children, as well as about 120,000, according to our calculations, blocked civilians in Mariupol as a whole," he explained.

According to him, the Ukrainian side is working to open humanitarian corridors. In particular, Ukraine offered Russia to exchange "all the wounded for all the wounded" in Mariupol, but Russia is blocking this process.

Zelenskyy noted that there are two ways to solve the problem of Mariupol: a military unblocking and a diplomatic attempt to organize an evacuation. Ukraine is working on both options at the same time.

  • Currently, Ukrainian Marines, Azov Regiment fighters, and about a thousand civilians remain blocked at Azovstal. On April 20, defenders of Mariupol said they were ready to evacuate the city with the support of a third party. On the same day, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine was ready to exchange captured Russian servicemen for people from Mariupol.
  • On April 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Vladimir Putin on the alleged "taking control of Mariupol" by Russian occupation forces. Shoigu said that troops could not capture Azovstal. Putin ordered not to storm the industrial zone, but to lay siege to it.