Late Monday evening, officials within the Ukrainian government appeared to give up on the key port city of Mariupol and surrender it to the Russian invasion forces.
As stated by live war updates read in the New York Times, the capture of the Azovstal steel complex in the port city was the overall cinch pin factor in Russia's apparent win over the Ukrainian defense forces in this particular combat mission.
In a short statement to the Times, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that their current goal was to back off to minimalize further casualties.
"We hope to sae the lives of our boys," stated Zelensky.
As stated by the Associated Press, roughly 260 Ukrainian soldiers were transported to Russian-controlled territory. Photos taken by reporters from Reuters seemingly highlighted these Ukrainian troops being loaded onto the buses.
— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) May 16, 2022
Earlier, Reuters reported that buses with the Defenders of #Mariupol, which were on #Azovstal, arrived in #Novoazovsk, which is under the control of pro-#Russian separatists. pic.twitter.com/RfaOrvoW7t
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) May 16, 2022
Just last month, Vadym Boichenko, the mayor of Mariupol, issued an estimate that the casualties within the city were well over 21,000. The conflict for the port city has been one of the longest in the entire current war.
The veracity of these photos from Reuters should be taken with a hefty grain of salt. As seen early Monday, Reuters put out a highly controversial photo of a group of men that seemed to be equipped with paintball gear to go along with their coverage of Ukraine making a claim of success in a totally different campaign. As read in the reports, Ukraine drove back the Russian invasion forces that were stationed in the Sumy region and held on to control of the Chernihiv border region as well.
Reaction to the apparent defeat of Ukrainian defense forces in Mariupol was seen directly in the approval rating from the U.S. House on the subject of sending another $40 billion in aid to Ukraine.
Pedro Gonzalez, a conservative journalist, highlighted the fact that Ukrainian defense forces assigned to the combat mission in Mariupol were throwing accusations at their government of outright abandoning them, making reference to the Azov regiment's complaints that were documented by The Wall Street Journal.
"Zelensky just surrendered the strategically important port city Mariupol after besieged Ukrainian troops there had complained that they had been ignored and abandoned except for propaganda purposes," stated Gonzalez.
Zelensky just surrendered the strategically important port city Mariupol after besieged Ukrainian troops there had complained that they had been ignored and abandoned except for propaganda purposes. This officially confirms that.
Why are we sending him billions of dollars again? pic.twitter.com/N1c6PJJFV8
— Pedro L. Gonzalez (@emeriticus) May 17, 2022
Although the House has approved the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, it was temporarily halted in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), but this aid package is mostly expected to make it through over the course of this week.
Quite a few Republican senators have promised to vote against sending the aid package. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) stated that he believes that the U.S. needs to make use of those funds to improve its own national security and economy before trying to take care of other people's problems.
"We’ve already committed a great deal of money, and I know people are concerned that money is being well spent, and we should certainly take effort to oversee that carefully," stated Hagerty to Maria Bartiromo with Fox News. "At the same time, we’ve got to take care of things at home first."