Russia is not allowing wounded Ukrainian fighters to be evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks, where they are holed up in the southern city of Mariupol, the local governor said on Thursday.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said Russia is also not allowing humanitarian corridors to be established to evacuate civilians in the region. But he said only 370,000 residents remain in Ukraine-controlled parts of the Donetsk region, compared with 1.67 million before Russia’s invasion.
Russia denies being able to target civilians during the invasion.
“There are 600 wounded in our unit… They need medical attention, here there are no conditions, medicines or personnel who can help them,” Serhiy Volyna, commander of the 36th Ukrainian Marine Corps Brigade in Mariupol, told Reuters.
Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol with a thick layer of black smoke above the roof — Photo: REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/File Photo/File Photo
The Azovstal steelworks is the main Ukrainian resistance point in Mariupol, a city that has been under continuous bombing since the beginning of the Russian invasion on 24 February.
Russian forces have been trying to storm the factory, according to Ukrainian officials, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments last week that the complex did not need to be taken over.
“There are also injured civilians… hundreds of civilians here with us, dozens of children, there are many people with reduced mobility, many elderly people,” Volyna said.