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Ukrainian defenders inside Mariupol defy surrender-or-die demand

Ukrainian defenders inside Mariupol defy surrender-or-die demand

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian fighters holed up inside a steel plant inside the last known compartment of resistance inside the shattered city of Mariupol ignored a surrender-or-die ultimatum from the Russians on Sunday accompanied by every one one other accompanied by held not here opposed to the capture of the strategically vital port.

The permit let fall of Mariupol, the location of a merciless, 7-week-old siege that has reduced a a large amount of of the city to a smoking ruin, would exist Moscow's biggest victory of the war yet accompanied by every one one other accompanied by lacking ask in remittance up troops to lay clasp of small part inside a potentially climactic battle for jurisdiction of Ukraine's manufacturing east.

As its missiles accompanied by every one one other accompanied by rockets slammed into other parts of the country, Russia estimated 2,500 Ukrainian troops accompanied by every one one other accompanied by concerning 400 overseas mercenaries were dug inside at the hulking Azovstal steel mill, which covers additional than 11 marketplace kilometers (4 marketplace miles) accompanied by every one one other accompanied by is laced accompanied by tunnels.

Moscow gave the defenders a midday deadline to surrender, saying those who laid down their arms were "guaranteed to retain their lives." The Ukrainians rejected it, fair while they did accompanied by foregoing ultimatums.

"We will fight completely to the end, to the win, inside this war," Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal vowed on ABC's "This Week." He said Ukraine is prepared to extremity the war into with every one other accompanied by not here of diplomacy if possible, "but we do not have intention to surrender."

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sent Easter greetings via Twitter, saying: "The Lord's Resurrection is a testimony to the victory of actuality over death, good over evil."

If Mariupol falls, Russian forces there are expected to fasten an all-out insulting inside the coming days for jurisdiction of the Donbas, the eastern manufacturing neighbourhood that the Kremlin is bent on capturing following failing inside its provide to lay clasp of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.

The relentless bombardment accompanied by every one one other accompanied by highway fighting inside Mariupol have killed at least 21,000 people, by the Ukrainians' estimate. A maternity medical organization was hit by a lethal Russian airstrike inside the opening weeks of the war, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by concerning 300 people were reported killed inside the bombing of a theater where civilians were taking shelter.

An estimated 100,000 remained inside the city not here of a prewar inhabitants of 450,000, trapped lacking food, water, hotness or ability inside a siege that has made Mariupol the scene of some of the worst suffering of the war.

"All those who will convey on accompanied by resistance will exist destroyed," Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, said inside announcing the latest ultimatum.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar described Mariupol while a "shield defending Ukraine" while Russian troops prepare for battle inside the mostly Russian-speaking Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists by that hour dated jurisdiction some territory.

Russian forces, meanwhile, carried not here aerial attacks near Kyiv accompanied by every one one other accompanied by somewhere else inside an evident try to weaken Ukraine's military capacity ahead of the anticipated assault.

After the humiliating sinking of the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet last week inside what the Ukrainians boasted was a missile attack, the Kremlin had vowed to step up strikes on the capital.

Russia said Sunday that it had attacked an ammunition plant near Kyiv overnight accompanied by precision-guided missiles, the third such strike inside while numerous days.

Explosions were excessively reported overnight inside Kramatorsk, the eastern city where rockets earlier this month killed at least 57 people at a train stopping place packed accompanied by civilians trying to evacuate ahead of the Russian offensive.

A geographical official inside eastern Ukraine said at least place of set of two people were killed when Russian forces fired at residential buildings inside the town of Zolote, near the front dash inside the Donbas.

At least five people were killed by Russian shelling inside Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, on Sunday, geographical officials said. The barrage slammed into apartment buildings accompanied by every one one other accompanied by left-hand the streets scattered accompanied by broken glassware accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other debris, including small part of at least one rocket.

Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov, inside an impassioned address marking Orthodox Palm Sunday, lashed not here at Russian forces for not letting up the bombing military operation on such a sacred day.

Russia excessively said that its forces report down place of set of two Ukrainian MiG-29 fighter jets inside the Kharkiv neighbourhood accompanied by every one one other accompanied by destroyed place of set of two Ukrainian command posts accompanied by every one one other accompanied by a radar system for S-300 surface-to-air missiles inside the city of Avdiivka, northern of Donetsk city. Ukrainian officials did not unswerving away corroborate the claimed losses.

Malyar, the Ukrainian deputy defence minister, said the Russians continued to hit Mariupol accompanied by airstrikes accompanied by every one one other accompanied by could exist getting prepared for an amphibious landing to build strong their ground troops.

Capturing the southern city on the Sea of Azov would permit Russia to completely firm a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine inside 2014, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by deprive Ukraine of a greatest port accompanied by every one one other accompanied by its prized manufacturing assets.

The looming insulting inside the east, if successful, would inside attendance accompanied by Russian President Vladimir Putin a vital small part of the country accompanied by every one one other accompanied by a poorly needed victory that he could sell to the Russian people amid the war's mounting casualties accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the monetary hardship caused by the West's sanctions.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who met accompanied by Putin inside Moscow this week — the earliest European leader to do so since the invasion Feb. 24 — said the Russian president is "in his own war logic" on Ukraine.

In an gathering on NBC's "Meet the Press," Nehammer said he thinks Putin believes he is winning the war, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by "we have to look inside his eyes accompanied by every one one other accompanied by we have to be brave enough him accompanied by that, what we see inside Ukraine."

Without explicitly mentioning Putin's decision to invade, Pope Francis made an anguished Easter Sunday plea for tranquillity inside Ukraine, decrying "this cruel accompanied by every one one other accompanied by senseless war into which it was dragged."

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Chernov reported from Kharkiv. Yesica Fisch inside Kramatorsk, Ukraine, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Associated Press journalists around the world contributed to this report.

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Follow the AP's coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Ukrainian defenders inside Mariupol defy surrender-or-die demand

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