Video | A week-long siege on Mariupol, Ukraine's 'steel capital' | International

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Fear of war has been a constant in Mariupol since 2014, when Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula. Then there were already attacks on this port city, which is part of an imaginary corridor that would go from the Donbas area to the territory invaded by Russia. The city is known as the 'steel capital' in Ukraine because its economic activity is centered on its extraction and commercialization through the port on the Sea of ​​Azov.

On February 24, the day the Russian attack began, the city was deserted. In the video that accompanies this news you can see the empty streets, the closed houses, the hidden people. Neighbors have been preparing for this moment for years. Tanks and soldiers patrolled almost deserted streets. There we could see the first images of the outbreak of violence. A column of fire and smoke rising from the airport facilities. A week later, the images of destruction have already moved to residential neighborhoods. The Russian Army has devastated basic infrastructure for the population since its entry into the city, according to the Ukrainians. Russia itself has warned that it faces an imminent humanitarian catastrophe, but the invading country blames Ukraine, the invaded country.

This Saturday, the Russian announcement that it could open a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of the civilian population, may be the harbinger of a massive attack on Mariupol. Control of the city, in addition to connecting Crimea with the eastern provinces of the country, will leave Ukraine without access to the Sea of ​​Azov.

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