When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, one of the Russian forces’ first targets was the city of Mariupol, located in the southeastern part of the country along the coast of the Sea of Azov. Coverage of the battle that followed was widespread, as the story of Ukrainian defenders’ stubborn resistance took shape. A small number of Ukrainian fighters defended the city for more than eighty days against a Russian force five to eight times larger than that of the defenders. The defense prevented the Russians from diverting these forces to other parts of Ukraine, buying valuable time for Ukraine’s military to defend other key areas.
In this episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, John Spencer is joined by Aiden Aslin, a British citizen who was captured by Russian forces in April 2022 while fighting as a Ukrainian Marine in Mariupol. He begins by explaining his journey to serving in the Ukrainian military, before sharing his firsthand perspective on the way that the Battle of Mariupol unfolded, describing his experiences and those of his unit. Finally, he tells the story of the events leading up to and surrounding his captivity as a Russian prison of war for over five months, from April 12 to September 21, 2022.
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Image credit: Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons