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Why Did Putin Declare Victory In Mariupol?

T-90 Tank
Russian T-90 Tank.

Putin Claims Success in Mariupol, Orders It Sealed – The Russian siege of Mariupol has seemingly entered its final stage. In a choreographed meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Russian national television, President Vladimir Putin ordered the assault on the Azovstal steel plant, where an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian troops, as well as civilians, had a defensive enclave be canceled, citing it as “impractical”.

During the televised meeting, Shoigu told Putin that the city was “liberated” but the final stronghold of Ukrainian troops would take “three to four days to finish the work” of crushing the remaining resistance. 

Putin then called off the attack. “I order it to be canceled,” Putin said. 

“This is the case when we must think — that is, we must always think, but even more so in this case — about preserving the life and health of our soldiers and officers. There is no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities.”

Then he ordered Shoigu to seal the steel plant and blockade the avenues around it “so that a fly can’t get through” and to offer the remaining troops inside to surrender. He then added that Russia would guarantee them “their lives and dignified treatment.”

Meanwhile, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen strongman and Putin ally, who has troops fighting in the region, said that Russian troops will have the steel plant secured by Thursday. 

The Ukrainian commander inside the steel plant offered little optimism about the situation for the troops surrounded. In a video, he said that the troops and civilians trapped in the steel plant were down to their final days or even hours as they faced critical shortages of food, water, ammunition, and medical supplies. 

Why Did Putin Call Off the Attack On the Steel Plant in Mariupol

The suspension of the attack on the steel plant was a “practical” move on Putin’s part. 

In the televised meeting where he called off the attack, Putin was using Russia’s control of the news and social media among Russian civilians to promote himself in a positive light, as a leader who cares about his officers and men, and even cares about the lives of Ukrainians surrounded inside the plant.  

Although the news is strictly controlled by Moscow, there has been growing talk on social media about the number of casualties that Russian troops have suffered and how the Putin government has been less than forthcoming about those. Especially in light of the sinking of the Moskva, Russia’s flagship of the Black Sea fleet, when Moscow claimed publicly that all 500 sailors on board the ship were rescued, but dozens of families were told that their sons were missing. 

And, by sealing off the remaining area of resistance inside the steel plant, it saves the Russians even higher numbers of casualties where they’d have to root out positions one by one. The Russian military remembers taking a heavy toll on German forces in a similar type of battle when they held the “Dzershinzky” Tractor Factory in the city of Stalingrad in late October 1942 during World War II. 

And it gives the Russians a much-needed public relations victory to trumpet to the people. By declaring Mariupol secured, Putin can claim that it is moving toward the “denazification” and “demilitarizing” the important port city on the Sea of Azov where Shoigu was telling Putin and the Russian people that Mariupol was a “haven for Ukrainian nationalists”, and that the enclave had a cache of weapons that could strike Russia across the sea. 

May 9, A Date to Monitor

The Russian military is probably under pressure from Putin to have a significant victory to celebrate by May 9, the date of the Russian celebration of “The Great Patriotic War” which was the defeat of Nazi Germany during World War II. 

This date culminates in a huge military parade in Moscow is a very important one in Russia. And this will likely result in the Russian military pushing even harder in the Donbas during the new offensive. 

The British Ministry of Defense, which has produced excellent intelligence since the war has begun, posted that, Moscow “likely desires to demonstrate significant successes ahead of their annual 9th May Victory Day celebrations.”

“This could affect how quickly and forcefully they attempt to conduct operations in the run-up to this date.”

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

Written By

Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 1945, he covers the NFL for PatsFans.com and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. CK

    April 21, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Whatever the outcome, the answer is indeed – May 9th. It’s funny to think, the date is so close, and yet, so far away. In the 2-3 weeks between, anything could happen.

    We could see the thousands of Azov marines currently holding off the Russians paraded on live TV as pow’s, commemorating the defeat of “Nazism” together with a sham referendum to join the Russian Federation, or we could be seeing the same marines, scampering out of the rubble, wounded to a man and starving, coming to greet the remainder of the Ukrainian Army, fresh from lifting the siege of Mariupol. Or, the plant becomes a huge graveyard as Russia detonates a tactical nuke over it, or drops chemical or biological weapons into its complex maze of tunnels.

    Never before have three weeks felt like such an eternity, in which so much was possible.

  2. speedster

    April 21, 2022 at 10:40 am

    The mariupol defenders have made a monkey out of the russians. Tied down a significant number of invaders and applied attrition to those same invaders,so that the Pareto, 20/80 ratio will have devastated the invaders military efficiency. The double monkey on the invaders was tying them down to mariupol, so that they could not engage with Ukrainian forces further north.
    Putin has been told his invaders have been incompetent, so he’s trying to call a false victory, by saying oops, we’ve been lured into a fixed position for months.
    What the mariu pol, defenders have done is similar to the Greeks who delayed the Persians so the Greeks could mount timeous, defence against the Persian invaders.

  3. CK

    April 21, 2022 at 11:12 am

    I was thinking about that historical reference too. IF, and it’s a big IF, it turns out down the line, that holding that plant was somehow a big decisive moment that lead to holding a huge contingent of Russian men and materiel that was desperately needed elsewhere, it will be known as the new Battle of Thermopylae (even if they all die to a man, though hopefully it won’t come to that).

    It’d a wild wish, but I’ve seen crazier things happen in this war so far.

  4. from Russia with love

    April 21, 2022 at 11:56 am

    you are funny 🙂
    7000 from the Russian Federation and the DPR militia participated in the storming of Mariupol. Mariupo was defended by about 8,000 of the 501 landing brigade, Azov and border guards. what is the outcome? about 1500 people from the 501 landing brigade surrendered. the number of Ukrainian “heroes” who tried to escape from Mariupol in civilian clothes, but were caught at checkpoints, has not yet been published. probably around 1000. in the catacomb under the Azovstal plant around 2000. the rest are already in hell with their idol.
    so far, all that the operation in Mariupol has shown is the disgusting snout of the Ukrainian pig army, which is hiding behind the backs of women and children.

  5. CK

    April 21, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    Jesus christ, if you are going to throw figures, at least make them plausible. No military tactician in the world would storm a city of nearly 500,000 people, defended by your figure of “8,000” Marines, with LESS attackers than defenders.

    Most sieges call for a 3-1, or 4-1 ratio. If there were indeed 8000 marines there, Russia SHOULD have attacked with between 24,000-32,000 troops.

    Not that for a moment I believe your figures, just saying, if you want to give them a veneer of truth, maybe study military tactics first. Not even Russia would be that stupid, and who knows… maybe they were, and that’s why 56 days later, they don’t hold the city 100%.

    Honestly, do they just hire you guys from the street?

  6. Alex

    April 21, 2022 at 11:01 pm

    Along with the Russian servicemen and fighters of the DPR, they worked at the highest level, the city was taken completely and irrevocably. The entire territory was systematically cleared of nationalists. The administrative building of the Azovstal metallurgical plant, which is of particular strategic importance, was taken under control, and the entire adjacent territory was cleared.
    Flags of Russia, Chechnya and the Donetsk People’s Republic are hung throughout the city.
    This is complete victory.
    And somewhere in the catacombs of the Azovstal plant, Bandera Nazis begin to eat each other… A good death for the bastards.

  7. CK

    April 22, 2022 at 5:38 am

    As you can see, this bot isn’t here to engage with the article, or even engage with other posters, just to spout the same nonsense over and over across multiple articles. Always the same lies, bullshit and fantasies that exist only in his head.

  8. from Russia with love

    April 22, 2022 at 6:16 am

    CK:
    “Most sieges call for a 3-1, or 4-1 ratio.”
    you need an excursion into history;) the assault on Konegsberg (now Kaliningrad). the ratio of forces is 1:1. due to competent training and total superiority in artillery and aviation, the fortress city of Königsber was taken in 3 days.
    during the assault on Mariupol, the army of the Russian Federation and the DPR also has a total superiority in artillery, aviation and armored vehicles, but the situation is complicated by the fact that the terrorists of Azov have taken the population of the city hostage. it is possible to evacuate civilians only from areas liberated from terrorists. Azov did not let the civilians out and used them as human shields.
    the Russian army coped in 2 months and saved most of the city’s population.
    The US army stormed Mosul in the 9th month, razed the city to the ground and buried everyone who was there, both civilians and terrorists, under the ruins.
    hmmm… which of these two armies are the “bloody butchers”?

  9. Bertram

    April 22, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    Sasha announces, for I think the sixth time, the full conquest of Mariupol and the Steel plant.

    Not true this time either.

    There are more Russians left to die in Mariupol before this is over and Ukrainian defenders eager to kill them.

  10. CK

    April 22, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    The operant word there from Russia with love, is “most”. That implies there are exceptions. Seriously, read much?

    Also, I take exception to the Siege of Konigsberg, as you are talking of an army that has been constantly degraded and destroyed over the course of 2 years since 1942-1943, where Russians enjoyed huge superiority in tanks.

    Yes, you claim in Mariupol the Russians enjoyed the same, and sadly and perhaps predictably, I just don’t believe you.

    Also, Russia has said Civilians are free to leave the plant, but only If combatants also surrender. That’s very merciful of you.

    As for Mosul being “razed to the ground” … what else is there to say? You live in an alternate world my friend. I almost envy your delusion.

    Almost.

  11. Alex

    April 23, 2022 at 9:19 am

    In Mariupol, flags of Russia, Chechnya and the Donetsk People’s Republic hang EVERYWHERE. the people of Mariupol rejoice at their liberators. Is this not a victory? Oh, I forgot, victory for the West is the destruction of the population.

  12. CK

    April 23, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Yes Alex, and the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats… truly a heaven on earth.

    As comical as anything to have ever left your waffling piglips.

  13. Alex

    April 24, 2022 at 4:23 am

    After the success in Mariupol, the Donbass militia, with the support of Russian troops, will take control of Odessa. Odessa is the city where Bandera Nazis burned people alive in 2014. Finally, this Russian city will also be freed from the Bandera bastards.

  14. CK

    April 24, 2022 at 5:53 am

    Alex, poor you man, they are making you work on Orthodox Easter? The night money Sveta brings not enough to keep you guys afloat anymore? Let me know if you need any donations. I’m sure I have a few cents lying around that will be worth a fortune in roubles!

  15. from Russia with love

    April 24, 2022 at 6:13 am

    CK:
    “Yes, you claim in Mariupol the Russians enjoyed the same, and sadly and perhaps predictably, I just don’t believe you.”
    your problem is completely out of touch with reality;)
    the city is completely under the control of the DPR troops. schools started to work. distribution points for humanitarian aid were organized. the cleaning of the city began. clear debris, restore infrastructure. investigators are working in the city fixing and investigating war crimes of terrorists from Azov and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. the remnants of the Azov terrorists are blocked in the industrial zone and are methodically destroyed by artillery.
    “Also, Russia has said Civilians are free to leave the plant, but only If combatants also surrender. That’s very merciful of you.”
    https://pikabu.ru/story/obrashchenie_k_zasevshim_na_azovstali_golos_znakomyiy_9041831
    here is an appeal to the seedlings at Azovstal. if you have the ability to translate the text of the appeal, then you yourself can make sure that there is not a word about the fact that civilians will be released only if the militants lay down their arms. the appeal says that civilians can go through the humanitarian corridor. it is also said that the militants can also go out along the humanitarian corridor, but only after laying down their arms.
    you lied as usual 😉
    “As for Mosul being “razed to the ground” … what else is there to say? You live in an alternate world my friend. I almost envy your delusion.”
    https://www.arabnews.com/sites/default/files/styles/n_670_395/public/main-image/2019/02/04/1450126-1082665081.jpg?itok=ygczWopy
    this is Mosul after the “liberation” of the US. a year later, Mosul looked exactly the same, but the stench from thousands of bodies of the dead decomposing under the rubble and a difficult epidemiological situation were added to the ruins. it seems that in your fictional world they don’t know about it…

  16. Alex

    April 24, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Russian missile forces and artillery completed 423 fire missions at night. As a result of the strikes, 26 command posts, 367 strongholds and areas of accumulation of manpower and military equipment, as well as 25 positions of artillery batteries were hit. Four depots of rocket-artillery weapons and ammunition were destroyed in the areas of Gusarovka and Velikaya Kamyshevakha.

    The Russian Armed Forces destroyed an enterprise for the production of explosives and powder mixtures for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The plant was located near the city of Pavlograd in the Dnepropetrovsk region. The workshops of the enterprise were blown up.

    NATO help is not enough. NATO has more than half exhausted the stocks of weapons that can be supplied to Ukraine. That’s all the facts.

  17. CK

    April 24, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    @From Russia with Delusion,

    Holy shit, a single link on the internet from an unreliable source claiming the opposite of my argument? Well colour me impressed!

    Not.

    I really, really, really want to believe all your lies about Mariupol, there is just one problem, I don’t. Yoy see, you saying something on the internet, doesn’t inherently make it true. You being a shill of the Russian government, makes it even less so. Everyone knows you for what you are my dude, and the evidence the world has access to easily refutes your argument.

    It must feel good to live in your world, where Russia is the good guy liberator of the poor oppressed Ukrainians, but sadly, I must choose reality over delusion.

    You however, can continue to fool yourself. Whatever it takes for you to sleep at night.

    @Alex – I don’t get it my friend. So many successes, and so little advance on the front lines though? What is going wrong? Is Soros using his arcane magic to put Russian troops to sleep? Is your feeble understanding of “facts” different from everyone else’s?

    Something must be afoot!

  18. Alex

    April 25, 2022 at 10:45 am

    Yes, Russia has big “problems”:
    There is the Donetsk People’s Republic. There is the Luhansk People’s Republic. Kherson applied to Russia for a referendum to establish the Kherson People’s Republic. God bless the Ukrainians of Donbass!

  19. CK

    April 25, 2022 at 10:51 am

    Yes Alex, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania also re-applied to join the Russian Federation. In this reality, Putin has conquered his hemorrhoids, and you and Sveta live happily ever after.

    It’s nice to sit back and daydream, isn’t it? 🙂

  20. Alex

    April 26, 2022 at 2:16 am

    Why is Russia with the people’s militia of Donbass taking new territories of Ukraine every day? Let’s figure it out:

    The West failed to turn much of the world against Russia after the military operation in Ukraine began, columnist Howard French wrote in an article for Foreign Policy magazine.
    According to him, many states did not support sanctions against Moscow, including such large countries as India and China.

    “In fact, when counting the population of these countries, it becomes clear that the states representing the majority of humanity have not taken a position in this conflict, seeing in it the familiar echoes of the former rivalry between East and West,” said French.
    According to the observer, the international political system that took shape at the beginning of the twentieth century from the very beginning gave the countries of the “third world” the status of second-class states. As an example, he cited the colonization of Africa by European countries.

    “It was the work of the enslaved millions of people who grew sugar and cotton in huge quantities, cleared the land and did all other unpaid work that made the American colonies profitable for Europe, and the so-called “Old World” new and rich,” the author emphasized.

    French urged not to ignore the heightened sense of justice among the former colonized peoples.

    “The whole world” with Ukraine 🙂

  21. from Russia with love

    April 26, 2022 at 6:07 am

    CK:
    again “evidence that the whole world sees”? Where are they? on the same Internet there is a video message from the commander of the 36th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which is now in Azovstal. The video was taken on Easter. the general meaning of the appeal is that we cannot escape, the ammunition is running out, there are a lot of wounded and killed, SAVE US !!! 🙂
    can you somehow prove that the commander of the 36th brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is lying and the Nazis at Azovstal are doing well? No?
    hmmm… looks like your “reality” turns out to be fictional, right? 🙂

  22. CK

    April 26, 2022 at 7:04 am

    @Alex:

    Is that the Azovstal factory Russian’s still haven’t been able to take after two months?

    How is that going again? You utter joke.

    @from Russia with love,

    Nobody is denying they are not low on food, ammo and supplies. But Russia claims the entire city has been taken. So you are just proving you guys haven’t? Also, if they are so easily beaten, why haven’t you taken the factory yet?

    Jog on.

    • from Russia with love

      April 27, 2022 at 4:31 am

      CK:
      “But Russia claims the entire city has been taken. So you are just proving you guys haven’t?”
      yes, the city is liberated. all residential areas of the city are cleared of the Nazis. the remnants of the Nazis are blocked in the industrial area. they cannot leave the industrial zone. on the territory of the industrial zone is constantly under artillery fire. it is even problematic for them to leave the plant’s bomb shelters.
      “Also, if they are so easily beaten, why haven’t you taken the factory yet?”
      why attack him? the Nazis blocked at Azovstal have only 2 exits – 1) surrender, 2) dead. food and water are running out. more and more wounded and killed. the civilian population which would need to be saved from the Nazis is not there.
      why risk the lives of Russian soldiers when there is artillery?

  23. from Russia with love

    April 27, 2022 at 4:32 am

    CK:
    “But Russia claims the entire city has been taken. So you are just proving you guys haven’t?”
    yes, the city is liberated. all residential areas of the city are cleared of the Nazis. the remnants of the Nazis are blocked in the industrial area. they cannot leave the industrial zone. on the territory of the industrial zone is constantly under artillery fire. it is even problematic for them to leave the plant’s bomb shelters.
    “Also, if they are so easily beaten, why haven’t you taken the factory yet?”
    why attack him? the Nazis blocked at Azovstal have only 2 exits – 1) surrender, 2) dead. food and water are running out. more and more wounded and killed. the civilian population which would need to be saved from the Nazis is not there.
    why risk the lives of Russian soldiers when there is artillery?

  24. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 9:29 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  25. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Ah, I see your tactic. You add a little shitty first paragraph so it doesn’t detect your duplicate post. Is this what it has come to now, you just posting the same exact post 2, 3, 4, 5 times per article?

    Wow, did they run out of paper in Russia, Alex? You guys can’t print new material? Literally using the same lines, over and over again, and now in duplicate in every post!

    Are you so defeated you can’t even come up with anything new? How sad. Now the idiot is talking about lend-lease at the end of his post, because he literally just copy + pasted it from another thread, with zero relevance to this one.

    Here’s a reminder:

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

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