The last Ukrainian troops in Mariupol want to be evacuated to a third country. Their commander asks “all world leaders” for help in a video. “This could be the last call of our lives. We’re probably heading into our last days, if not hours.”
Russia has taken almost all of Mariupol, and only the Azovstal steel factory is not in the hands of the Russian army. The factory site, where civilians also reside, is defended by Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade. “The enemy is ten times more than us,” said Commander Sergei Volina. He also says that the Russian army has an advantage both on the ground and in the air.
It is not clear exactly how many people are on the factory site. According to Russian information, 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers and 400 foreign mercenaries are involved. Ukrainian authorities have said there are about 1,000 civilians and military personnel. Moscow has repeatedly called on the Ukrainian military to surrender.
Russian troops have surrounded Mariupol since March 1. The southern port city is in ruins due to the ongoing attacks. The approximately 100,000 remaining inhabitants are without electricity, food and water. Before the Russian invasion, the port city had about 430,000 inhabitants. According to local authorities, several tens of thousands of civilians have been killed.