[NEWS IN-DEPTH] Russia consolidating control over Mariupol as Ukrainian soldiers surrender
Updated: 2022-05-19 17:06:27 KST
In Ukraine, Russia is consolidating its control over the city of Mariupol with apparent surrender of almost a thousand Ukrainian soldiers who'd been holding out in the Azovstal steelworks.
They could soon be sent home in a prisoner swap with Ukraine.
But at the same time, Ukraine has got its first conviction of a Russian soldier for war crimes.
Tensions over the soldiers and now a bid by Sweden and Finland to join NATO.
To get the latest on the war, and some expert analysis, we're pleased to welcome to the program tonight Dr. Malcolm Davis, Senior Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
He joins us this time from Washington, DC.
1) The saga of the Mariupol steelworks is nearing an end, it seems. Close to a thousand Ukrainian soldiers there have surrendered to Russian forces. Reportedly there are still some commanders in there. But the idea now is that Russia and Ukraine are going to swap prisoners. Are these Ukrainians going to make it back, and how do you see the prisoners fitting into any broader negotiations?
2) Ukraine is now putting Russian soldiers on trial for war crimes, and a Russian tank commander has pleaded guilty to killing a civilian on a bicycle. If that's the direction Ukraine is going, what do they expect will happen to their soldiers now in Russian hands?
3) Finland and Sweden have now officially applied for membership in NATO. But there's opposition from Turkey, which says they've basically been harboring Kurdish terrorists. A decision on their joining has to be unanimous because these countries are promising to go to war for each other. First of all, do you see Turkey holding fast to its objections?
4) If Sweden and Turkey do join, how does Russia react? They've basically said it's not a big deal unless other NATO countries deploy weapons there. But surely this will lend credence to the idea held by many in Russia, including Putin, that they're being surrounded. That could boost what many say is flagging morale.
5) This war has obviously been devastating for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. How do you see the damage on the Russian side in terms of military losses?