"The defenders of Mariupol City have played an important role to destroy the enemy's plans and improve their defense," said the minister, thanks to the "courage" of the inhabitants of that city, "we-they have saved tens of thousands of lives across Ukraine.”
“Today Mariupol is saving Kyiv, Dnipro, and Odesa. Everyone must understand this," the minister said in a war report posted on social media.
A Minister said, since the war began, the Ukrainian army has shot down 100 planes and 120 helicopters to destroy 500 tanks and 1,500 armored forces vehicles.
In his message, the minister said that the Russians "no longer dream of capturing Kyiv" and that they are receiving "painful blows" in Chernihiv, Sumy, and Kharkiv.
Odessa, Russia's next "logical target"
The Ukrainian port city of Odesa would be the next “logical target” for Russian troops, after taking over Mariupol, a former British military senior commander of the United Kingdom Joint Forces Command said on Monday.
Speaking today to BBC Radio 4, former commander Richard Barrons said that if the Russian army takes control of Mariupol, in the south-east of the country, and the target of heavy Russian bombardment for weeks, this will be perceived as “a great strategic success” for Russia.
“When the Russians Army feel that they have successfully concluded that battle, they will definitely have completed the land bridge between Russian Federation and Crimea as well, Also, they will see it as a great and successful strategy,” he said.
Barrons further noted that he believes Russian Federation Army" will go for Odesa City because it's possibly the next place to go in the southern side of Ukraine and it looks like there are more ships in the Black Sea heading in that direction."
The former British army commander noticed that if Russia is going to take Odesa "they might cut off the total Ukrainian economy" from the Black Sea side.