What happened in Mariupol, the city Russia besieged and captured?

Mariupol resident Sergei Shulgin, 62, stands in front of an apartment block on May 3 that was heavily damaged by Russian bombardment. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Ukraine evacuated its remaining combatants from besieged Mariupol on Monday, ending its last stand to prevent Russia from capturing the strategic port city after weeks of heavy Russian bombardment.

“Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address.

Hundreds of fighters, many of them seriously wounded, had been hiding in Mariupol’s sprawling Azovstal Iron and Steel Works and its network of tunnels. Combatants included members of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, a highly skilled military unit with controversial ties.

Hundreds of Mariupol residents also sought shelter in the complex. In early May, the first civilians evacuated the shattered steelworks and were escorted to safety by the United Nations after weeks of negotiations with Russian and Ukrainian forces.

Evacuees from Mariupol steel plant describe brutality of long siege

In late April, Russia declared victory over Mariupol, even as the contingent of Ukrainian troops held out at the plant and refused Moscow’s demand to lay down their arms. Russian forces now control the city, a strategic seaside hub with a prewar population of roughly 450,000.

Officials in Ukraine say that as many as 20,000 civilians in Mariupol may have been killed during the Russian siege.

Here’s what to know about the siege of Mariupol — and the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding there now.

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia fired at least 85 missiles on at least six major cities in Ukraine on November 15, in one of the most widespread attacks of the war so far. The strikes came just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link, presented a 10-point peace plan to G-20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia. As in previous Russian missile attacks, critical civilian infrastructure appeared to be primary targets. Parts of several cities that were hit were left without electrical power on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

Read our full coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive video.

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