Things are even worse in Mariupol. Russians aren’t letting civilians evacuate. There’s no heating or drinking water. Mariupol is a large industrial city. It’s early March, so heating is crucial. Residents are running out of food and medication. The number of civilian casualties is impossible to know.
The reason why Russians are particularly brutal with Mariupol is that they failed to occupy it in 2014. Mariupol is a Russian-speaking city, and they hoped to defeat it easily. But the residents of Mariupol threw them out and organized a gigantic demonstration, one of the very first in 2014. They came out among a sea of Ukrainian flags, singing about their love for their country. It was all over social media. Russians were humiliated and are now starving the entire city to death.
The next on Russians’ list of cities slated for annihilation is Odessa, another Russian-speaking city. In 2014, Russians tried to occupy Odessa and in the process burned a group of Ukrainians alive. Still, Odessans bravely resisted and threw Russians out. Now Russians came back to exact their revenge.
Want to know which other city defeated the Russian invasion in a humiliating way in 2014? Kharkiv. There was no army, so citizens organized and threw the invaders out. Then they organized a parade and marched through the historical center with bouquets of flowers. Now the invaders retaliated. The historical center is gone. The civilian casualties are high. Schools, hospitals and daycares were purposefully targeted. Nobody is going to march with flowers anymore.