Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed victory over the strategically important city of Mariupol in Ukraine. Putin said that the Russian army has ‘liberated’ Mariupol in this biggest war in Ukraine. Reports coming from Mariupol say that Russian flags are being seen everywhere in the city. Meanwhile, the US claimed that so far the Russian army has not been able to capture the entire city of Mariupol. The war between Russia and Ukraine has now entered its second month and Putin wants to convert it into victory as soon as possible. At the same time, analysts say that Russia’s capture of Mariupol is like a victory in the war of Ukraine. Let’s understand why victory over Mariupol is important….
According to experts, the occupation of Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol on the coast of the Azov Sea will provide Russia with a land route between its controlled Crimea to the self-styled Donetsk Republic. Russian President Putin recognized Donetsk and Luhansk republics as independent territories just before the attack on Ukraine. In fact, on February 24, Russia began attacking on three fronts from the Belarus border in the northern region of Ukraine to Kyiv and Kharkiv, the rebel-controlled Donbass in the eastern region and Crimea in the south. Today is the 58th day of the war between Russia and Ukraine and Putin’s army has now put full emphasis on capturing the eastern region of Ukraine.
Mariupol has been in the possession of Hitler, the hub of steel making
The Russian army has stopped its ongoing campaign from the south and north. Russia’s entire focus was to capture Mariupol, which it has almost achieved. Named after the 18th-century Russian king Maria Feodorovna, the city of Mariupol was under the control of the Azov governor during the period of imperial rule in Russia. In the 18th century, Russia moved Orthodox Christians from the Crimea to Mariupol on the shores of the Azov Sea. In the years that followed, it became one of the largest trading centers on the Black Sea and on the Azov coast. In the 19th century the city of Mariupol became a hub for steel making. Due to this thousands of workers came here.
During the Second World War, Mariupol was occupied by Hitler-led German forces, which lasted for about two years. During this, the Nazi army started a campaign to exterminate the Jews with the help of local people. After this, the city of Mariupol was liberated by the Russian Red Army and named Zhdanov after Soviet leftist leader Andrei Zhdanov. In 1989, two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was once again renamed Mariupol. General Sir Richard Barron, a former British army commander, told the BBC that the capture of Mariupol was vital to Russia’s war effort. At the end of the war, the Russians would see a land route to Mariupol as a major strategic success.
Russian occupation of 80 percent of the area along the Black Sea coast
With the capture of Mariupol, Russia has now occupied 80 percent of the territory of the Black Sea coast of Ukraine. This would not only cut Ukraine off from maritime trade but would also isolate it from the world. Russia has caused so much devastation on Mariupol with guns, rockets and missiles that about 90 percent of the city has been destroyed. Mariupol Coast is a deep sea port. From here Ukraine used to export steel, coal and maize to the Gulf countries. Not only this, after the capture of Mariupol, now Putin will be able to show it as a victory to his people who are opposing this war. It was a personal matter for Putin, who sees Ukraine’s Black Sea region as part of the ‘new Russia’. That’s why Putin named it ‘liberation’. On the other hand, for Ukraine, this is the biggest loss in the war so far. Mariupol is the first major city in Ukraine to come under Russian occupation.