The GuardianThe Guardian

Why is Mariupol so important to Russian forces?

By Bermet Talant

22 Mar 2022 · 2 min read

For three weeks, the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has been under siege by Russian forces. Between 100,000 and 200,000 people remain trapped in the city, which continues to come under relentless bombardment.

Local authorities say 80% of the city’s infrastructure has been destroyed, some of it beyond repair. The city has been without water, electricity and heating, and it is impossible to count the number of deaths. This week Ukraine rejected Russia’s ultimatum to surrender Mariupol.

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