Ukraine has urged Russia to hold a “special round of discussions” on evacuating fighters and people trapped in a massive steel complex in Mariupol’s destroyed port.
The call came after additional film of people reportedly sheltering at the Azovstal steel mill showed ladies stating they barely had enough water and food to last a few more days, according to an adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Hundreds of Ukrainian fighters and 1,000 civilians are believed to be hiding in underground tunnels beneath the steelworks, which is the last surviving pocket of resistance in southern Mariupol.
Mariupol’s defences were “on the verge of collapsing,” according to Oleksiy Arestovych, who urged the Russians to undertake negotiations at Azovstal.
Arestovych remarked in a YouTube interview with a former Russian lawyer that “We invited Russians to hold a special round of talks on the spot, right next to the walls of Azovstal,”
He then stated on Telegram that Ukraine is proposing the establishment of humanitarian corridors as well as the swap of Russian military detainees for the militants still in the plant.
Russia did not respond in a timely manner.
Vladimir Putin, the country’s president, had instructed his men not to strike the plant, but Ukrainians say the attacks have continued uninterrupted.
The Azov Battalion also published a new video, which it claimed was shot inside the bunkers on Sunday, showing ladies complaining that their children can’t sleep because of the continual shelling and that they haven’t seen the sun in months.
People are seen hanging laundry on makeshift hangers and one toddler is spotted wearing homemade diapers made of cellophane.