The Defense of Mariupol. Artist: Johannes Roots, Estonia. Original artwork commissioned by Liberty.org (c) 2022.
The Hero-City of Mariupol, Ukraine
Mariupol has become a martyr city of suffering due to Russian war crimes.
Defenders of Mariupol, Ukraine - the "city of Mary," known for its ancient churches and multiethnic community - held out valiantly against Russian forces outnumbering them by several fold and despite being surrounded and cut off from reinforcements and supplies. Mariupol has been bombarded by land forces encircling the city, by warships in the Black Sea, and by bombers overhead. The city has been cut off from food, water, and electricity for weeks. The Defenders held out in spite of promises of safe passage if they would surrender the city.
Being unable to defeat the Ukrainian defenders by conventional means, Russia has perpetrated war crimes and terrorism. Russians under Putin and Mikhail Mizintev, the “Butcher of Mariupol,” have repeatedly and intentionally bombed and shelled residential neighborhoods, hospitals, and schools. Over 300 people, including pregnant women and babies transferred after the bombing of a maternity hospital, were killed during the targeted bombing of the Mariupol Drama Theater which was clearly marked on both sides with the Russian word "children" clearly visible from the air. As in so many cases, Russia has done what it falsely accused its opponents of doing, committing genocide against Mariupol's civilian population. Doctors of Mariupol stated that they were "treating 10 civilians for every injured Ukrainian soldier." Russian invaders murdered many thousands of civilians, including children, elderly, and pregnant women, despite orders from the International Justice Court for Russia to immediately withdraw and its finding that the pretext for Russia’s invasion was baseless.
The defense of Mariupol has occupied invading forces, taking pressure off of some other regions of Ukraine to allow them to fortify and prepare. Even long after being cut off with no hope of rescue, the defenders of Mariupol inflicted heavy losses on the invaders, eliminating a Russian major general, a senior Russian naval commander, a colonel, and a Russian bomber. Mariupol continued to resist the invaders.
Contrary to Russian propaganda, “the regular Ukrainian military, not the National Guard or any kind of nationalist militia, has borne the brunt of [Mariupol’s] defense.” The martyr-city of Mariupol, its people, and its defenders will live eternally in bright memory with heroes like the 300 Spartans who held off the Persian army at Thermopylae. Its destruction will forever be a stain on Russia, like Stalin’s murder of thousands of Poles in the Katyn forest.
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Images are original artwork commissioned by liberty.org. (c) 2022, all rights reserved.
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