“You always show such bad pictures from Ukraine. I don’t really want to see them” – a regular reader of eXXpress said recently. Yes: The photos from the Ukraine are hard to bear. But these are the documented, real consequences of the war in Europe that Vladimir Putin started with his invasion of the neighboring country – and which Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy does not want to end soon either. This is their war. And the photos should remind us never to stop calling for a ceasefire – so that the suffering for the civilian population, but also for the soldiers, can end.
The new pictures from the steel works of the 90 percent destroyed port city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov are likely to be the last that could be sent to us from these catacombs: Only a few Ukrainian defenders and foreign mercenaries are still holding the fort in the ruins of the industrial complex.
Dozens of wounded soldiers are being cared for in the emergency hospital deep beneath the remains of the steelworks building. As good as that is possible. The stretchers of the Ukrainians are standing on the dirty floor, next to the operating tables there are large buckets with blood-soaked gauze bandages.
The Russian armed forces have changed their tactics on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin: The defenders in this confusing, extensive area will continue to be shelled, but the area of the steel works should not be stormed. In any case, it is only a matter of a few days before the Ukrainian soldiers run out of ammunition. Water, food and medicine are also becoming scarce.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy has not yet given an order to surrender – apparently he wants to use this cruel situation of his soldiers for as many hours as possible for his propaganda battle.