Ukrainian Marines in the besieged port city of Mariupol said they are "holding out to the end" despite being surrounded by Russian forces and running low on supplies.
"We are the defenders of Mariupol, the 36th Marine Brigade, which is holding the defense of this city to the last," one of the marines said in a video on Facebook.
"We did not give up our positions. We kept every inch of this city as best as we could. But the reality is that the city is under siege, in a ring. There has been no supply of ammunition or food. We have been holding out to the end. We are grateful to every Ukrainian who believed and continues to believe in the Marines. We have held on to this faith for so long. We did not leave our positions. We have always remained faithful."
Independent analysis of the situation in Mariupol on Sunday published by the Institute for the Study of War assessed that the defense of Mariupol had reached a critical stage.
"Russian forces bisected Mariupol from the city center to the coast on April 10, isolating the remaining Ukrainian defenders in two main locations: The main port of Mariupol in the southwest and the Azovstal steel plant in the east," the analysis stated.
CNN cannot independently verify the situation on the ground in the areas of heaviest fighting in Mariupol. The city, which has been battered by weeks of relentless bombardment, has become a symbol of Ukrainian resolve in the war against Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said "tens of thousands" have died in Mariupol, a figure that cannot be independently verified.