Thursday May 05, 2022

Russia 'violated' promised truce at Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant, says Ukrainian commander

Russia 'violated' promised truce at Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant, says Ukrainian commander

A videograb shows explosions at Mariupol's Azovstal steel plant. AFP

Russia "violated" a promised truce at Mariupol's steelworks, where Ukrainian forces are making a last stand in the city, a Ukrainian commander said on Thursday, pleading for help for "dying" soldiers and the evacuation of civilians.

"The Russians violated the promise of a truce and did not allow the evacuation of civilians who continue to hide from shelling in the basement of the plant," Svyatoslav Palamar, a commander of the Azov regiment, said in a video on Telegram.

The Russian army had on Wednesday announced a three-day ceasefire at the Azovstal plant, saying it would allow civilians to leave, with the Kremlin claiming earlier on Thursday that humanitarian corridors were "functioning."

Palamar said Russian soldiers broke into the plant "three days ago" triggering intense clashes, and that "heavy bloody fighting continues."

Wounded Ukrainian soldiers holed up in the plant were "dying in agony from inadequate treatment", he said, urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to "take care" of them and to find a way to remove the bodies of soldiers who had died.

He also called on the "world community" to help evacuate civilians from the plant.

On Wednesday evening, Zelensky asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for help to "save" wounded Ukrainian soldiers at the Azovstal plant.

Agence France-Presse


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