Ukraine Refuses to Surrender Mariupol, How Long Do They Have Left?
Ukrainian forces and government officials have refused Russian demands to raise a white flag and lay down their arms in exchange for safe passage out of the city Mariupol, a port city on the southern coast of Ukraine.
The city is part of the area declared independent by Putin early in the war.
Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s National Defense Control Center, made this ultimatum and said that Kyiv had to respond by 5 am Moscow time on Monday.
Presumably, the Ukrainian forces and government officials, who are militarily outmatched, will be attacked if they stay. They will likely die for their country.
As we predicted, Russia has started to focus on infrastructure and population centers, bombing shopping centers and destroying apartment buildings. While these are mostly empty by this time, civilians have been killed in the hundreds. At least 2300 have died in Mariupol according to city officials. The split between civilians and soldiers is unknown at this time.
Nearly 3.4 million people have fled Ukraine since the war began, at least 10 million have been displaced.
Commentary: Ukrainian defiance has been the headlines in the mainstream media since the beginning of the war. While I appreciate the optimism there, the Ukrainian military is vastly outgunned. I believe Putin’s invasion is largely going according to plan.
I believe Ukraine is convinced, as I am, that Putin has only a limited time before the sanctions take hold in Russia, the Russian people (especially the oligarchs) start to revolt. When that happens, Putin will disappear from the world.
But this may be 2-3 months from now or even longer. Russian forces are rapidly destroying three major cities of Ukraine, and will reach Odesa before long. How much of a beating can they take.
In Putin’s world of judo, this would be like having your opponent accept a broken arm, a broken leg and feeling a potentially fatal choke coming on without tapping out.
Ukraine may be able to wait this out. If they can’t, then Putin rises to legendary status in Russia, he has new territories under his control and is emboldened to take more. Not to mention that it also exposes the West as paper tigers and emboldens China to act against Taiwan.
But If they can hold out until Putin is taken out by his own people, then a new Russian government will likely be forced to pay reparations to rebuild Ukraine. And likely Europe and the rest of the world will help them rebuild, perhaps better than the way they were.
The question is what will be left of Ukraine to rebuild?