Russia has ordered the surrender of Ukrainian forces in Mariupol by Sunday morning

On April 14 a local man sits near a fire in the yard outside a damaged building in Mariupol, Ukraine. (Alexander Ermoshenko / Reuters)

In his latest Saturday video address to the people of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zhelensky addressed the situation in the besieged port city of Mariupol and promised a better future once the hostilities are over.

“The situation in Mariupol is as serious as it can be. It is inhumane,” Zhelensky said. “Russia is deliberately trying to destroy everyone in Mariupol.”

While Ukrainian troops are confined within the pockets of resistance, about 100,000 people are staying in Mariupol and its immediate environs, mostly under Russian control.

“There are only two ways to affect this,” Zhelensky said. “Our partners will immediately provide Ukraine with the necessary heavy weapons, aircraft and without exaggeration … or a negotiated route, in which the role of allies must be decisive.”

Zelesnky said his government was trying every day to end the siege of Mariupol: “Military or diplomatic – something to save the people. But this solution is very difficult to find.”

“Although we have heard many intentions from those who want to help, and from those who are truly internationally influential, none of them have been accomplished yet.” He added.

French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a mass evacuation by sea on March 25, but the plan went nowhere. “Every day he or the head of the Armed Forces or the head of the Ukrainian negotiating team was in contact with Mariupolin’s bodyguards. Every day,” Zhelensky said.

Rebuilding the Nation: Zhelensky said his government was beginning to plan for a post-war future.

“Today I held a meeting dedicated to the reconstruction of our cities,” he said. “Of course, this is a huge amount of work. But even less than defending the state in war.”

“Now is a historic moment; a moment when many of the old problems of the whole context of our lives can be solved once and for all,” he added.

Zelensky called the housing situation and “a real modernization of our cities.”

“Millions of people know how difficult it is to get a house, earn money for your own apartment, and build a house. [internally displaced.]… those whose homes were destroyed by the war. Temporary houses until we rebuild their houses. “

One priority, he said, was to “provide housing for ex-servicemen to protect or defend the state, to provide housing for all those who have worked or are working for the benefit of the community and are homeless. It is not possible. A person dedicates his entire life to military service, but retires without his own apartment.”

Monuments are being planned, one of which will tell “the story of the destroyed bridge in the Kiev region, which connects Irbine and Pucha with Kiev. The story of those who escaped using this bridge and this road from Russian invaders to Kiev.”

The bridge was the route for thousands of civilians to escape a Russian bombing in March.

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