KRAMATORSK, Ucrania- Las fuerzas ucranianas aseguraron este lunes que temen la caída de Mariúpol, una ciudad estratégica en el sureste del país asediada desde hace más de 40 días por el ejército ruso, y cuyo puerto estaría ya ocupado, según los separatistas prorrusos. En la región del Donbás, en el este, el gobierno ucraniano espera una inminente ofensiva rusa.
“Según nuestras informaciones, el enemigo ha casi finalizado su preparación para un asalto en el este. El ataque empezará muy pronto” dijo este lunes el portavoz del ministerio ucraniano de Defensa, Oleksandr Motuzyanyk. En el frente diplomático, el canciller austriaco Karl Nehammer se reunió este lunes con el presidente ruso Vladimir Putin para intentar obtener corredores humanitarios, siendo el primer dirigente europeo que visita Moscú desde el inicio de la invasión de Ucrania el 24 de febrero. Por su parte, la Unión Europea (UE) discutió en Luxemburgo nuevas sanciones contra Rusia. Los rusos llevan semanas asediando Mariúpol, cuya captura les permitiría consolidar sus conquistas territoriales en la franja costera a lo largo del mar de Azov, conectando así las regiones del Donbás con la península de Crimea, anexionada por Moscú en 2014. “Hoy va a ser probablemente la batalla final [en Mariúpol] as our ammunition runs out,” the 36th Marine Brigade, which is part of Ukraine’s armed forces, wrote on Facebook on Monday. “This means death for some of us and captivity for others… No we know what will happen, but we ask you to remember [de nosotros] with a kind word,” the brigade asked “the Ukrainians.” “For more than a month we have been fighting without ammunition, without food, without water,” doing “the possible and the impossible,” the unit said, explaining that approximately “half” of its members are injured.
The leader of the pro-Russian Donetsk separatists, Denis Pushlin, claimed on Monday that his troops had conquered the entire port area of Mariupol. “As for the port of Mariupol, it is already under our control,” he said live on Russian television channel Pervy Kanal. For his part, Oleksii Arestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, admitted on YouTube on Sunday that “now it is militarily impossible” to liberate Mariupol.
“The battle for Donbas will last several days,” Sergei Gaidai, governor of the Lugansk region in Donbas, warned on Facebook, again calling on civilians to leave the area. According to him, “the Mariupol scenario can be repeated in the Luhansk region.” On Friday, a Russian missile attack outside the Kramatorsk station in the east killed 57 people, including at least five children. While the population tries to flee this region, air strikes and bombings continue elsewhere, such as those on Sunday in Kharkiv (east), Ukraine’s second largest city, and its suburbs, which left at least 11 dead, including a 7-year-old boy, and 14 injured, according to regional authorities.
“To date, we have 1,222 dead people in the kyiv region alone,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova told Britain’s Sky News channel on Sunday, though she did not specify whether the bodies were only civilians. She also reported that there are 5,600 open investigations for alleged war crimes, including the deaths in Bucha.More companies depart from Russia Volodimir Zelensky called on Westerners to “follow the example of the United Kingdom,” whose Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to Ukraine on Saturday, calling on them to impose “a total embargo on Russian hydrocarbons.” Meeting in Luxembourg, the foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) studied on Monday a sixth package of sanctions against Moscow, which, however, will not affect purchases of oil and gas. The war in Ukraine could cut global trade growth in half, according to an analysis published by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat. The crisis should push global GDP growth to between 3.1% and 3.7% this year, while world trade growth should be between 2.4% and 3%. In October, the WTO had forecast an increase of 4.7%. The exodus of Western companies from Russia continues. This Monday, the French bank Societé Générale joined the list of companies that announced the cessation of their activities in the country since the invasion of Ukraine. A few hours later, the Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ericsson announced that it was suspending its activities in Russia, where it supplies two of the main mobile phone operators. Russia and Ukraine represent less than 2% of its turnover.]]>