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Ukraine Marine Commander In Mariupol Explains Two Options To Save The City From Russia

Ukraine Marine Commander In Mariupol Explains Two Options To Save The City From Russia

The Russian defence ministry has said it will offer a ceasefire in Mariupol to allow defenders to surrender

The commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade in Ukraine has laid out two options to save the besieged city of Mariupol from Russia.

The Russian defence ministry has said it will offer a ceasefire at 2:00pm Moscow time (11:00am GMT) today (20 April) in the city to allow Ukrainian defenders to surrender and leave unharmed.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has insisted forces in Mariupol would 'fight to the end' and ignore ultimatums, and in a post on Facebook this week Major Serhii Volynskyi, who is defending Mariupol, said there is 'still a chance to save' the city.

He laid out 'two options for salvation', describing the first as a 'drastic military operation that will take place right now with all the necessary means'.

Volynskyi continued: "Quantitative, well-equipped grouping of forces, which in one spurt, sharp and deep blow will unite us in our defence area. I think the key is superiority in the air and artillery. The option is possible, although complicated and risky."

The second option, the commander said, is a 'political decision' and one he sees as 'quite real under the condition of effective diplomacy'.

"This is the creation of international control over the security of the exit of the military garrison and civilians who have fallen into the trap of war," he explained.

Volynskyi went on to appeal to 'world leaders, civil and religious figures, diplomats', saying: "The lives of thousands of people are now in your hands!"

Both civilians and soldiers are taking shelter in Mariupol.

In a video posted a short while later, the commander said his forces were 'maybe facing [their] last days, if not hours'. He appealed for extraction and claimed the enemy was outnumbering Ukrainian forces '10 to one'.

“We appeal and plead to all world leaders to help us. We ask them to use the procedure of extraction and take us to the territory of a third-party state. All of us - Mariupol military battalion of soldiers, more than 500 wounded, and hundreds of civilians including women and children, we plead to take us to safety on the territory of a third party state" he said.

The commander said forces are 'only defending one object', namely the Azovstal steel plant which a Ukrainian presidential adviser has claimed to be under attack with bunker-buster bombs.

In a post on Twitter, adviser Mykhailo Podolyak claimed: "The world watches the murder of children online and remains silent."

Volynskyi claimed both forces and civilians were sheltering at the plant.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information

Featured Image Credit: Serhii Volynskyi/Facebook/Alamy

Topics: Ukraine, Russia, Volodymyr Zelensky, Politics, World News