Skip to main content

How The Besieged City of Mariupol Could Easily Become the Dunkirk of Ukraine

Charles is a US Army Cavalry Veteran from 1993-2005. He has served stateside in support of several missions throughout his military career.

Encroaching Russian Military Forces Surround the Defending Soldiers in Mariupol, Ukraine

Encroaching Russian Military Forces Surround the Defending Soldiers in Mariupol, Ukraine

The Evacuation of Dunkirk

In May of 1940, the second world war raged in Europe during the battle of France. Two massive German army groups spearheaded their way towards the English channel and the nearly 400,000 soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force, (BEF). The BEF was comprised of British, French, Polish, Belgian, and Dutch soldiers. The soldiers of the BEF were quickly surrounded by the relentless German armies. Their position was bombarded by heavy artillery and bombs from the German artillery and Luftwaffe for days on end. With nearly 70,000 BEF soldiers and 1,000 civilians killed in the fierce fighting, it was beginning to look grim for the remaining 330,000 BEF troops. As news of the trapped soldiers reached the British mainland, a decision was made by the British War Office to immediately evacuate the stranded soldiers off the beaches of Dunkirk. Within eleven days of the evacuation order, 861 sea worthy vessels were utilized in a massive operation to rescue 338,000 soldiers from the beaches of the totally destroyed city of Dunkirk.

The Evaluation of Dunkirk

The Evaluation of Dunkirk

The Siege of Mariupol

The siege of Mariupol is a current military operation that began on February 24th, 2022 as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Similar to Dunkirk, Mariupol is a city by the sea that is completely surrounded by enemy forces. Reports from city officials claim that nearly 5,000 civilians have been killed as of March 28th, 2022 with nearly 30,000 more deported to camps located in Russia. As the nearly 14,000 soldiers and mercenaries of the Russian military moved into the city from the West and East, 4,300 Ukrainian soldiers continue to fight while slowly being pushed towards the ports and beaches of the Azov Sea. Unlike Dunkirk, as of April 7th, 2022, no evacuation order or plan exists.

On March 25th, 2022, President Emmanuel Macron said France would spearhead an “exceptional humanitarian operation” alongside Turkey and Greece to evacuate the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which has been under siege by Russian forces since the onset of the invasion.

Macron stated, “We are going to launch a humanitarian operation in conjunction with Turkey and Greece to evacuate all those who wish to leave Mariupol." This plan was eventually called off on March 30th, 2022 after a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Without a rescue plan and no hope in sight, I fear that whatever Ukrainian soldiers remain in Mariupol will either be killed or captured leaving the world to wonder, what might become of the rest of Ukraine after the tragic loss of the strategic port city of Mariupol and her brave defenders.

Scroll to Continue

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Charles Kikas

Related Articles