Russian soldiers enter Mariupol port, noose tightening on besieged city

Russian soldier Mariupol port April 8 2022

It appears that Russian army’s grip around Mariupol is tightening after Wargonzo uploaded photos of soldiers in the port of the city.

The Siege of Mariupol began on February 24 as part of Russia’s offensive against Eastern Ukraine.

The Greek-founded city is located in the Donetsk Oblast in Ukraine and is claimed by the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People’s Republic and defended by the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov Battalion.

The Azov Battalion only hold onto a few areas of Mariupol, and having seemly lost access to the sea now.

Meanwhile, France is working alongside Greece and Turkey on a humanitarian operation to evacuate the port city, President Emmanuel Macron said Friday.

Speaking on RTL radio, Macron, who is standing for re-election in France in polls that begin on Sunday, said that no end to the war is in sight and called for a humanitarian aid mission to the besieged city.

Elsewhere, Greece is going to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to launch an investigation into possible war crimes in the southern port city, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias announced on Thursday.

“Greece will ask the International Court of Justice in The Hague to investigate war crimes committed in Mariupol,” he said arriving at the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

Greece, he added, has a “specific, special interest in Mariupol because of the existence of a Greek community of 100,000 and more people in Mariupol.”

Western countries and NGOs have been calling for a humanitarian corridor to help evacuate civilians in the besides city and provide relief, but Russia has not yet agreed to the move.

Dendias also said on Thursday he would ask his NATO colleagues “to try our best to help Ukraine to protect Odessa, so that Odessa can avoid the fate of Mariupol.”

When asked how can NATO colleagues help with this, he said “by giving Ukraine the adequate means to protect the city.”

“I have to say, they are willing and able to protect the city, provided that we provide them with the adequate means,” he added.

​​​​​​At the same time, Ukraine will urge the West to impose a full embargo on gas and oil exports from Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Thursday, calling for more weapons to be given to his country.

“We will continue to insist on a full embargo on oil and gas,” he told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels, in the presence of Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

READ MORE: Greek Parliament platforms Azov Battalion fighter: Gov’t spox says “it was wrong and inappropriate.”