The occupation of the city will connect the mainland of Russia with Crimea, a peninsula annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Here is how the deadly siege of the Russian city took place:
March 3 – Mariupol under siege
The mayor of Mariupol said Russian forces had cordoned off the city, cutting off water, electricity and food.
March 9 – Strike at the maternity hospital
In some of the most painful images of the war so far, a Russian attack on a maternity hospital has killed at least three people and injured 17 others.
Separately, Mariupol’s city council told The Post that 43 people had been buried, which it described as the city’s first mass grave in the conflict.
March 14 – Eviction begins
A humanitarian corridor has been opened for people to flee Mariupol, but Ukrainian officials have warned that many are trapped in the city.
March 16 – Theater bombing
Hundreds of people have been killed in bombings at the theater where they are taking refuge, the single deadliest attack on civilians since the Russian invasion began. The Russian word for “children” was written in large letters on the ground outside the building and a white flag was tied to the roof. Local officials put the death toll at around 300. An Associated Press investigation based on accounts of survivors and rescue workers later suggested that about 600 people were killed in the theater bombing.
April 18 – Thousands of people are trapped in a steel plant
Most of the Russian attacks now centered on the city’s Azovstal Iron and Steel Works. The plant and its extensive network of underground tunnels serve as the ultimate refuge and stronghold for thousands of Ukrainian fighters, many of them members of the controversial right-wing Azov Regiment. The city council of Mariupol says about a thousand civilians have also been detained.
May 7 – Women, children removed
Ukrainian officials say an operation to evacuate women, children and the elderly from the disrupted steel plant has ended.
The first civilians to be rescued described the brutality of the siege when they arrived in the northwestern town of Zaporizhia.
May 8 – Last fighters swear to hold
The leaders of the Final Fighters remained hostile as they held a two-hour press conference from the tunnel of the steel plant.
“As long as we are alive, we will always fight for justice,” said Capt. Sviatoslav “Kalina” Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov Regiment.
May 9 – Russia celebrates Victory Day
Russia celebrates Victory Day – celebrating the role of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II – in occupied Mariupol.
As Russia’s annual Victory Day, war-wounded Ukrainians reject defeat
May 16 – Injured Ukrainians evacuated
Hundreds of wounded Ukrainian troops were evacuated by Russian forces and taken to Russian-controlled areas. Ukraine’s deputy defense minister says Moscow and Kyiv will discuss a prisoner exchange to secure their release, although some Russian officials have expressed skepticism about the idea.
May 20 – Russia demands control of steel plant
Russia claims full control of Azovostal steel plant The country’s defense ministry says more than 2,400 Ukrainian fighters have surrendered in recent days, far more than any other estimate. Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War have warned that Moscow could increase numbers in an attempt to save face after a long siege of the tree.