When Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022, one of their first targets was Mariupol, an important port city on the Sea of Azov and vital to Russian plans to establish a land bridge connecting Russia with Crimea. In the initial days of the assault, ground forces advanced while artillery bombarded the city. Within a week Mariupol was surrounded and the besieged Ukrainian defenders in the city cut off.

Despite being outnumbered by their adversaries, and with the siege compounding shortages in equipment and ammunition, the Ukrainian forces held out for three months. Amid waves of attacks and counterattacks, Ukrainian forces defended a shrinking perimeter with a command post in the Azovstal steel plant. One of the Ukrainian soldiers who was there was Sergeant Arseniy Fedosiuk. John Spencer had the opportunity to speak to him about his experience in Mariupol, and you’ll hear that full discussion in this episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast.

In addition to vivid descriptions of Fedosiuk’s combat experience during the battle, the conversation also examines the unique challenges of defending complex urban terrain like that of Mariupol against a superior attacking force. It concludes with Fedosiuk describing the end of the battle, after which he was held as a prisoner by Russia for seven months.

You can listen to the discussion below or find the episode on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyTuneIn, or your favorite podcast app. Be sure to subscribe, and if you’re enjoying the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, please take a minute and leave the podcast a review or give it a rating!

Image credit: armyinform.com.ua, via Wikimedia Commons