Timeline: Russia's siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol

A damaged street during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 17, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

KYIV - After weeks of shelling and bombings, the Russian siege of the critical Ukrainian port city of Mariupol has entered its final stages. Here's a timeline of the key events in the city.

Feb 24

Russia launches a full-scale invasion of Ukraine from three fronts and begins to advance towards Mariupol from parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia-backed separatists, and from annexed Crimea in the south.

March 1

Russian forces begin the siege of Mariupol, a port city with about 450,000 residents on the Sea of Azov.

March 5

Moscow and Kyiv reach a partial ceasefire agreement to open a humanitarian corridor from the city. Both sides blame each other as the ceasefire collapses.

March 9

A person is carried out after the destruction of Mariupol children's hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

Ukrainian officials accused Russian forces of bombing a children's hospital, killing pregnant women and newborns. Despite photographic evidence, Russia claims the hospital had no patients.

March 14

The first convoy of evacuees is allowed to leave Mariupol in private cars after a humanitarian corridor is agreed. Around 2,000 civilian cars leave the city in a 24-hour period.

March 15

Russian troops take over the largest hospital in Mariupol, taking more than 400 patients and medical staff hostage after targeting it with air strikes.

March 16

The partially destroyed Mariupol drama theatre, hit last March 16 by an airstrike, in Mariupol on April 12, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

About 300 people are killed by a Russian air strike on the Mariupol Drama Theatre, according to Ukrainian authorities. It was marked by the word "CHILDREN" in huge white letters to ward against an attack. Moscow denies responsibility.

March 18

Russian forces enter the centre of Mariupol, prompting heavy fighting. Ukraine says more than 350,000 people remain under siege there, with no access to food or water.

March 20

Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing a school in Mariupol where an estimated 400 women, children and elderly people were sheltered.

March 21

Moscow gives an ultimatum to Ukrainian forces in Mariupol to surrender, offering safe passage from the city. Kyiv rejects the proposal. EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, calls Russia's attack on Mariupol "a massive war crime".

March 24

Mariupol authorities say up to 15,000 have been illegally deported.

March 28

Damaged buildings in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 14, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

The mayor's office estimates that nearly 5,000 people have been killed in Mariupol since the start of the siege. Around 90 per cent of the buildings have been damaged and 40 per cent destroyed. About 290,000 people have left the city and about 170,000 are still trapped, it says.

March 30

A Ukrainian presidential adviser says street fighting is heavy in Mariupol and half the city is in the hands of Russian forces.

April 5

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine's efforts to push back Russian troops from Mariupol are facing difficulties. France opens an inquiry into possible war crimes in the city.

April 11

A Russian soldier patrols in a street of Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 12, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Kyiv says Russia will begin an offensive soon in Donbass, with Mariupol as its main target. Ukrainian forces say they are preparing for a "last battle" for the city because ammunition is running low.

April 12

Ukraine says it's checking unverified information that Russia used chemical weapons in Mariupol.

April 13

Moscow says that more than 1,000 Ukrainian marines have surrendered as it intensifies its campaign in Mariupol.

April 16

Service members of pro-Russian troops ride on armoured vehicles towards the city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 15, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

Russia says it had control of urban parts of the city, with some Ukrainian fighters remaining in the Azovstal steelworks overlooking the Sea of Azov.

April 17

Russia's defence ministry tells Ukrainian forces still fighting in Mariupol to lay down their arms starting 6am Moscow time on Sunday to save their lives. The forces ignored the deadline and Ukrainian officials vowed that they would not surrender.


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