Ukrainian fighters at Mariupol steel plant beg the wounded to evacuate

Ukrainian fighters who have been in hiding for weeks at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have issued a desperate plea for help, calling on the international community to evacuate those injured in the near-constant shelling.

Defenders of the nationalist Azov militia group from the Ukrainian National Guard said on Telegram on Wednesday that the factory had been the target of 38 airstrikes in 24 hours.

Defenders of the plant also said Russian troops continued their attempt to seize the sprawling factory by force on Wednesday.

The post came a day after the regiment shared photos of wounded fighters, some of whom lost arms or legs, waiting for help in the besieged city.

“The whole civilized world must see the conditions of Mariupol’s wounded, crippled defenders and act!” the regiment wrote in a post, adding that conditions at the factory were “totally unsanitary”.

Some fighters, they said, had “open wounds, unsterilized bandages, no necessary medicines or even food”.

The remaining defenders of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol are calling on international organisations such as the Red Cross and the UN to help evacuate the injured.
Azov Mission/Handout via Reuters
On May 11, 2022, an explosion occurred at a Russian shelling factory.
REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

“We call on the United Nations and the Red Cross to show their humanity and to reaffirm the fundamental principles they set by rescuing the wounded who are no longer combatants.”

“We demand the immediate evacuation of wounded servicemen to Ukrainian-controlled territory, where they will be helped and properly cared for,” the brigade added.

Ukrainian human rights monitor Lyudmila Denisova agreed and called on the United Nations and the International Red Cross to help mediate the evacuation of wounded fighters.

“The invaders did not give the wounded army a chance to survive,” Denisova wrote on Telegram. “Due to the lack of antibiotics, medical equipment and sterile dressings, there is a risk of infection and doctors are forced to amputate (the wounded) even with minor injuries.”

Russian troops on an armored vehicle in Mariupol on May 11, 2022.
Russian troops on an armored vehicle in Mariupol on May 11, 2022.
REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

The two groups have been instrumental in negotiating and influencing the evacuation of civilians from the factories over the past two weeks.

The wives of two Azov Legion fighters who remained in Azov Starr pleaded with Pope Francis in Vatican City.

“You are our last hope and I hope you can save their lives, please don’t let them die,” Caterina Prokopenko, 27, told the pope.

Prokopenko and Yuliya Fedosiuk, 29, met with Pope Francis for about five minutes after the general audience in St Peter’s Square. They demanded that he intervene directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate the withdrawal of Mariupol’s defenders to a neutral country.

A member of the Azov Legion receives medical treatment at the Azov Stahl factory on May 10, 2022.
A member of the Azov Legion receives medical treatment at the Azov Stahl factory on May 10, 2022.
EPA/REGIMENT AZOV News Service Handout
Two wounded Ukrainian soldiers in a steel mill.
Two wounded Ukrainian soldiers in a steel mill.
DMYTRO ‘OREST’ KOZATSKYI/Azov Special Forces Regiment of /AFP via Getty Images

“Our soldiers are waiting to be evacuated to a third country so they can lay down their weapons while they are evacuating,” Fedorshock told reporters.

The women said they last spoke to their husbands on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Petro Andrushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, told citizens on Telegram that Russia began banning access to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in the city.

A member of the Azov regiment, amputated in the factory.
A member of the Azov regiment, amputated in the factory.
DMYTRO ‘OREST’ KOZATSKYI/AFP via Getty Images

He encouraged residents to come up with “alternate channels” to communicate with loved ones, and warned the FSB was hacking at least one popular chat app.

with binding post

US News.

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