Ukraine vows to fight to the end in Mariupol as ultimatum expires

Ukraine vows to fight to the end in Mariupol as ultimatum expires

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Kyiv: Ukraine vowed on Sunday to fight to the end in Mariupol after Russia issued an ultimatum to surrender its remaining forces in the Black Sea port city as Moscow pushed for a major strategic victory.

“The city still has not fallen,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said hours after Moscow s deadline had passed for fighters holed up and surrounded in a sprawling fortress-like steelworks to surrender.

“There s still our military forces, our soldiers. So they will fight to the end,” he told ABC s “This Week”.

Moscow has shifted its military focus to gaining control of the eastern Donbas region and forging a land corridor to already-annexed Crimea.

Russia s defence ministry said there were up to 400 mercenaries inside the encircled Azovstal steel plant, calling on Ukrainian forces inside to “lay down their arms and surrender in order to save their lives”.

Moscow claims that Kyiv has ordered fighters from the nationalist Azov battalion to “shoot on the spot” anyone who wants to surrender.

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