Major Serhiy Volina, commander of the Ukraine’s 36th Separate Marine Brigade, spoke by phone with CNN from the besieged city of Mariupol on Tuesday evening and asked a third country to evacuate troops and civilians trapped at the Azovstal steel plant under intense Russian bombardment.
“I have a statement to the world,” Volina said. “This may be my last statement, because we only have a few days, or even hours. We appeal to the world’s leaders to apply the procedures of extraction to the army of the Mariupol garrison, to the civilians who are here with us in a factory. We ask you to take us to the territory of a third country and give us security.”
Ukrainian forces united inside the besieged city around the huge Azovstal steel plant.
Ukrainian officials say hundreds of civilians are sheltering in the basements of huge steel plants. A Mariupol police official told CNN that water and food supplies were dwindling amid the heavy bombardment.
Asked how to facilitate the evacuation, Volina said: “This should be at the level of agreements. If we talk about practicality, it could be a ship with helicopters, for example, that can transport us. Or an international humanitarian mission. It can come.” to us, guarantees our security, and accompanies us on the way to a state that will abide by such obligations.”
Volina described the situation at the factory as “critical”, with a large number of wounded soldiers and limited medical care.
“We are completely surrounded,” he said. “There are about 500 wounded soldiers, it is very difficult to provide them with medical care. They are literally rotting. There are civilians in the area. They are also suffering from explosions and explosions on and next to them. [the Russians] Using heavy aircraft bombs against us and hitting us with artillery.”
“It happens all the time. The city is in ruins. Groups of enemies are dozens of times outnumbered us, they have complete advantage in air, artillery, equipment and manpower. We fight to the end, but we have very little time left,” he said. I continued.
The Ukrainian commander estimated that there were “hundreds of civilians” sheltering in the factory grounds.
“We appeal to absolutely all world leaders: who will be able to make such commitments, and who will be able to succeed in the short term in agreeing to such an action,” he said. “We know that there are some developments and talks with the Turkish side that it is acting as a guarantor. Perhaps the United States, because we think this is a very strong country with a strong leader, [President Joe] Biden, and that he can solve this problem personally in the shortest possible time. Or this problem can be solved with his help in a short time.”
Volina declined to comment on the number of soldiers deployed in Azovstal.
“If we hear the world, and if we hear the world leaders, we very much hope that, and the extraction procedures will be carried out, then everyone will understand the quantitative makeup of the people who were in captivity,” he said.