Seize of Mariupol: How long the Azov regiment can hold on Russian onslaught?

Ukraine's Azov Regiment continues to destroy Russian tanks and vehicles on the streets of Mariupol in April 2022. photo by polkazov/Zenger

Footage obtained from the Azov Regiment of Ukraine reportedly shows parked Russian tanks in besieged Mariupol erupting in flames after shelling by the regiment.

Zenger News obtained the footage from Azov on Monday, with the regiment saying (in English): “They are over ten times more than us, they have planes and ships, they have a lot of equipment … But the Azov Regiment continues to destroy the occupier on the streets of Ukrainian Mariupol!”

The footage shows several stationary tanks and other military vehicles daubed with the infamous white “Z”, marking them as Russian.

They are parked next to what looks like a factory, with empty, damaged buildings that appear to be residential nearby.

Fireballs and plumes of smoke are seen emanating from some of the vehicles as they are apparently picked off by shelling from Ukrainian forces.

The siege of Mariupol began on day one of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is ongoing.

Russian forces completely besieged the city on March 2 and reached the city center 16 days later.

The siege has seen 90 percent of buildings in the city, which lies in southeastern Ukraine, on the Black Sea coast, damaged or destroyed.

Local officials say more than 5,000 civilians have been killed in the siege so far.

The Azov Regiment, formally known as the Azov Special Operations Detachment and formerly called the Azov Battalion, has been active since May 2014.

In September of the same year, it was incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine, the country’s national gendarmerie.

The regiment has far-right origins. However, only a minority of its estimated 900 members are believed to have far-right tendencies.

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation.” Monday marks the 47th day of the invasion.

From February 24 to April 11, the total combat losses of Russian troops stood at 19,500 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military also claims that Russia has lost 725 tanks, 1,923 armored fighting vehicles, 347 artillery systems, 111 multiple launch rocket systems, 55 anti-aircraft warfare systems, 154 aircraft, 137 helicopters, 1,387 motor vehicles, seven boats/cutters, 76 fuel tanks, 119 unmanned aerial vehicles, 25 special equipment units and four mobile SRBM systems.

Russia has not confirmed those numbers but has admitted to “significant losses.”

Russia is shifting its focus to eastern and southern Ukraine after withdrawing its troops from the country’s north.

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