Refugee women and children in a gigantic steel factory in Mariupolthe last holdout of Ukrainian defenders of the southern port city, said in a video posted Saturday that they are desperate to get out and are running out of food.
The video was released by the battalion Azovwhich was created by pro-Ukrainian nationalists in 2014, later incorporated as a regiment into the national guard of Ukraine and has played a leading role in defending Mariupol.
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Reuters was unable to independently verify where or when the video was recorded. Someone speaking on record mentions that the date is April 21.
The video shows soldiers bringing food to civilians who the battalion says are sheltering in the compound. Azovstal.
A woman with a small child in her arms says that the inhabitants of the plant are running out of food: “We really want to go home.”
Russian forces were attacking the compound Azovstal with aerial bombardments and trying to storm it, presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovych said on Saturday, though Moscow said this week it would blockade the plant and not try to take it over. More than 1,000 civilians are at the plant along with troops defending it, according to Ukrainian authorities.
An unnamed boy in the video said he is desperate to get out after being in the plant for two months.
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”I want to see the sun because there is little light in here, not like outside. When our houses are rebuilt we will be able to live in peace. win Ukrainebecause Ukraine It is our birthplace.” he claimed.
The video showed women wearing uniforms in the design of Azovstalwhich, as verified by Reuters, matched the archive images.
One woman said she has been sheltering in the steel mill since February 27, just days after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.
”We are relatives of the workers. But this seemed to be the safest place at the time we came here, this was when our house came under fire and became uninhabitable.”commented.
Russian forces have besieged and bombed Mariupol since the early days of the war, leaving a city that used to be home to more than 400,000 people in ruins. A new attempt to evacuate civilians failed on Saturday, said an aide to the mayor of Mariupol.