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Putin’s Plan: Why Russia Is So Desperate to Conquer Mariupol

TOW Missile Mariupol Ukraine
U.S. Army Soldiers from Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), fire the TOW missile system during a live fire at Fort Campbell, Ky. Oct. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army Photo by Capt. Justin Wright)  

Why the Russians Need Mariupol: Russia’s bombardment of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, a port city in the south of the country, continues this week. Reports suggest that the city has been almost entirely flattened by Russian missiles, with one British man trapped in the city telling The Telegraph that the city now resembles Stalingrad.

Auden Aslin, a British volunteer fighter in Ukraine, told the press how Russian troops were specifically targeting hospitals, ambulances, and residential buildings in the city and that conditions get worse by the day. Aslin also revealed how the city was running out of food and water supplies, with around 300,000 civilians still unable to escape.

The last diplomatic who left Mariupol said that the city should be added to a list of places “destroyed by war,” which already includes Stalingrad – where the Soviet Union and German forces fought from 1942 – and Guernica, the Basque town destroyed by bombs during the Spanish Civil War.

Mariupol is one of the hardest-hit places in all of Ukraine. With constant attacks on civilian areas in the city, it begs the question of why the Russians are still focusing so heavily on the port city as Russian troops struggle to take the capital city of Ukraine.

Establishing a Land Corridor

As Russian forces leave Crimea – a southern region of Ukraine annexed by the Russians in 2014 – they are overwhelmingly heading in a northeastern direction to the Donbas region of the country that is populated by pro-Russian Ukrainians. Mariupol stands in their way, and once fully taken by Russian soldiers will serve as a land corridor between Donbas and Crimea.

General Sir Richard Barrons, formerly the commander of the United Kingdom Joint Forces Command, said that capturing the city is vital to the Russians’ plans in Ukraine.

“When the Russians feel they have successfully concluded that battle, they will have completed a land bridge from Russia to Crimea and they will see this as a major strategic success,” he said.

At present, Russian troops have the city surrounded, with Ukrainian fighters vowing to protect the city at all costs.

Hurting Ukraine’s Economy and Blocking Supply and Arms Shipments

With Mariupol being a major port city for Ukraine, taking control of the region would also mean that Russian troops can block almost all maritime trade in the country, and prevent any shipments of arms or other supplies from being sent via the Black Sea.

The Russian military has already assumed control of most of Ukraine’s coastline, with the exception of the eastern coastline near the city of Odesa.

Mariupol is not only the biggest port in the region and one of the most important ports for the entire country, but it is also home to a major iron and steelworks facility and is typically used to export steel manufactured in Ukraine.

Russia’s bombardment of Mariupol is brutal and unforgiving, but it is strategic – and if successful, will allow the Russian military to reassign as many as 6,000 troops to other parts of Ukraine.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.



  1. Ben Colder

    March 23, 2022 at 10:48 am

    This whole Ukraine war stinks what is really going on how much money did the Russians pay the Biden crime family to let them get by with going to war with Ukraine.Why are the Russians going after civilians we all know the answer to that .When this war is over or at least stops will Adolf Putin have to stand trial for war crimes we all know the answer to that Hell no he won’t just like Biden will stand trail for the crimes he has committed no way is that going to happen.Biden and Putin put the mafia to shame both these guys are thugs.

  2. Alex

    March 23, 2022 at 11:26 am

    After all, we all understand that the President of Ukraine threw the Bandera battalion “Azov” into Mariupol so that they would stay there forever. What for? It’s simple – when you have to agree to the terms of Russia, there will be fewer Bandera Nazis and his security will be stronger. It’s so obvious, and you’re all about fairy tales…

  3. from Russia with love

    March 23, 2022 at 11:35 am

    this article can be considered an example of how much some authors do not care about what they write about and how much they do not care about those who will read it.
    author, Mariupol on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov! it is on the other side of Ukraine from the Crimea!
    the article is another idiotic attempt to save Limpopo from the pro-Putin Aybalit …

  4. Steven

    March 23, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    If Putin removes Mariupol as an an obstacle, he can end his logistics nightmare by moving supplies by ship to feed and supply war materials to his invading army, and cut off the bulk of Ukraine’s military, which is in the Donbas region engaged with Putin’s forces which have been invading Ukraine over the Russian frontier with Ukraine for the last eight years.
    It’s a similar strategic move to MacArthur’s at Inchon, Korea, an amphibious landing behind enemy lines, during the Korean War, when American forces were able to cut off N. Korean forces from their supply lines in the North, essentially leading to a rout.
    Ultimately, this led to the Chinese intervention with hundreds of thousands of Chinese invading and trapping the American Marines at Chosen reservoir, a brutal retreat under constant attack by Chinese forces.
    If Mariupol falls to Putin, it will lead to encirclement of Ukrainian forces which will be cut off from resupply, no matter how many Javelin missiles they have, since it will be an infantry war supported by extensive artillery and close air support, a battle Putin can’t lose due to willingness to resort to human wave tactics, using Russian, and likely Belarus forces as well.
    Putin has no accountability to anyone and a willingness to expend soldier’s lives as a commodity he has in endless supply, especially conscripts which he controls for a one year draft duty, although if the war continues to drag on, expect him to extend conscription to the duration of hostilities in this non-war, “special military operation”.

  5. Steven

    March 23, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    I have no idea why the article is headlined by a photograph of an American Army Tow missile team.
    It has no relationship to the contents of the article at all.
    The American Army isn’t engaged atMariupol, or in Ukraine except possibly in a training capacity by special forces, and I haven’t heard of TOW missiles being utilized either.

  6. Richard Young

    March 23, 2022 at 12:57 pm

    The reasons for the war are many and vary by all accounts. The fact is now there is a war, which could easily spin out of control. NATO is a large part of the cause of this war due to the corruption by politicians world wide, particularly American Political Scum, including Biden, Pisoli, Romney & Kerry all having children making millions bilking Ukraine with the aid of the sham government of Ukraine. Clearly, Ukraine believed having these corrupt politicians in their pocket made them immune from Russia. Obviously, not, as the same politicians were selling their souls to Russia & China at the very same time. Anyone of these Governments can destroy these lowlives by exposing them instantly. Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive.

  7. Frank McCarthy

    March 23, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Ukraine has been and is a “no man’s land” torn apart at the seams by a variety of National and International interests and investitures.
    Russia needs a corridor, she will take it. That is why we do “war”.
    The Azov Battalions will hide out in their bomb-proof bunkers and hold out for publicity purposes no doubt. As for civilians, I do not accept the media deluge that they are expressedly targeting civilians. It is disingenuous to hear comparisons with Stalingrad, where the Russian soldiers and civilians fought side by side with everything they had and more to stop the German advance in it’s tracks, and they did so house to house, block by block.
    The losses for the 6th army were astonishing! and for the Russian Military even more so.
    It is heartbreaking to see, it is a shame more people do not take to leaving as a way has been provided.

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