“We will fight to the end,” says Ukrainian officer from besieged city of Mariupol

“The fighting is fierce, it’s urban guerrilla warfare. It’s street fighting, but there’s not really a front line.”† This is the situation in Mariupol described on Wednesday 13 April by There is samoylenko, Ukrainian officer of the Azov regiment fights in Mariupol. About 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers are still in the city, which has been besieged by the Russian army for more than a month.

Illya Samoylenko, Ukrainian officer of the Azov regiment, talks about the hell of the fighting in Mariupol – The report of Omar Ouahmane and Gilles Gallinaro


On the ground, the Ukrainian troops prepare for the fall of the city, but do not want to give in and ask “aid from the West, which has not given us military support for the past eight years. I am very grateful to the countries that have supplied arms to Ukraine since February 24, says Illya Samoylenko. But we in Mariupol, besieged by the Russians, have received nothing.” In particular, the officer asks for heavy weapons, “more efficient”to face the Russians, after killing some “at least 2,000”, he assures.

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He insists: “We have been fighting for more than a month and a half without artillery support, without air support, without supplies.” There is Samoylenko describes a fierce battle: “NOTWe will fight to the end. We will not surrender. We will not fight to the death, but to victory”† The fighting takes place in a field of ruins, the city has already been largely destroyed by Russian fighting and bombing.

Illya Samoylenko, officer of the Azov regiment, stationed in Mariupol.  (OMAR OUAHMANE / RADIO FRANCE)

According to this officer of the staff of the Azov regiment, an initially paramilitary group formed during the Donbass war by an ultra-nationalist leader who today still uses SS insignia of the Das Reich division and who has been part of the Ukrainian army since 2014, theare Russian “usage planes bombing haphazardly, bombs falling on houses, civilians, hospitals and theaters”† Soon out of ammunition, he assures us that the Russians are razing the city to the ground, district by district.

On the ground, the situation is hopeless, hell for the civilians trapped in the middle of the fighting and robbed of everything. If the fighters still have limited supplies of water and food, this officer indicates, then the residents trapped there have nothing left, and “to be hungry.”

“Russia is trying to block all humanitarian aid from the Ukrainian side. A real genocide! And then the Russians kidnap and relocate the inhabitants of the occupied territories of Mariupol.”

Illya Samoylenko, officer of the Azov . regimental staff

at franceinfo

Illya Samoylenko claims to have had it in her hands “Letters distributed to citizens announcing their ‘relocation’ to the far east of Russia, for example to Vladivostok or Kamchatka.”

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On the spot, while “citizens die on the street”, the officer fights every day so that the entire city does not fall into the hands of the Russians. He would also like to point out that if: “the enemy is already in the city, he doesn’t have everything under control, contrary to what he claims”“Russia may have taken a third of Mariupol, but now they are engaged in urban warfare. To claim total control of an area, they must wipe out everything. What the Russian military is doing with its indiscriminate bombings,” he explains. Add that “the Russians are violating all the laws of war, all international treaties”

“They used banned munitions and even chemical weapons in Mariupol yesterday. We can’t say what it was because we don’t have a laboratory, but residents showed unusual symptoms.”

Ilya Samoylenko

at franceinfo

for Ilia Samoylenko, Russia is working on: “Committed thousands of war crimes here in Mariupol. And she does her best to hide her dirty secrets. How does she do that? She shaves everything, so without proof there is no punishment!” When asked what will happen to him if he decides to surrender to the Russians, the officer replies: “If I surrendered, they would torture me, they would maim me, this is what they would do to me” The imminent fall of Mariupol should accelerate the second phase of the Russian offensive, which aims to annex the Donbass region, which has been disputed ever since. 2014.

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