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Ukrainian political scientist unsure of Russia’s motivations with Mariupol
Ukrainian professor Volodymyr Dubovyk, a political scientist at the University of Odesa, says his country’s cities are not even close to giving up the fight.
Speaking to This Week’s Emily Bourke, Professor Dubovyk, who remains in Ukraine despite the constant threat of attack, said Russia faced a long and tough battle.
He said Russia made two major miscalculations and mistakes to start with and had underestimated the ability of his people to work together.
“The major one by Russia is they overestimated the capacity and the capabilities of their own military forces and their readiness,” he said.
“It gets clear why Russia is bogged down, and why their advance has been a failure in many ways.”
Professor Dubovyk, who was forced to flee his city in the first week of the invasion, said he had many friends in Mariupol, some of whom he had yet to hear from.
“Mariupol, it’s a tragedy what’s happening there,” he said.
“It’s there you have absolutely overwhelming military force by Russia — it’s been a priority for them to take Mariupol and yet even up to this day they haven’t taken the entire town.
“It’s a tragedy that all those people were caught in harm’s way, not just caught in harm’s way but lacking basic supplies like food and water and medicine and so on.”
Professor Dubovyk said reports some people been forcibly taken away by Russia and had passports seized was concerning and Russia was gaining nothing from bombing cities like Kharkiv.
“Why are they destroying Mariupol basically, I have no idea. They want to take it they want to use it they want it under their control, why would you destroy the city with the citizens?” he said.
“Kharkiv has a large Russian-speaking population and yet they’re bombing it … it’s completely obliterated now.”
Professor Dubovyk said he feared the war could become even more brutal as it dragged on, and would become tougher for Ukraine if Belarusian forces joined the attack.