‘Fear and panic is all we have left’ Hundreds still trapped in Mariupol | World | News


Mariupol steelworks commander Serhiy Volynskyy’s desperate pleas

Senior sources added that Russian artillery had resumed shortly after about 100 people were safely moved from the plant. The steelworks is where the city’s last defenders are holed up, with more than 500 soldiers and around 1,000 civilians surviving in the vast industrial area’s underground network. Hopes had risen of a swift end to the two-month siege when the first batch of evacuees were ushered to safety by United Nations and Red Cross workers.

But yesterday Pedro Andyushchenko, an advisor to Mariupol’s mayor, told Ukrainian television: “As soon as the buses left Azovstal with the evacuees, new shelling began immediately.”

His account was backed by Denys Shlega, a national guard commander at the complex, who said: “Several dozen small children are still in the bunkers underneath the plant.” Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment defending the steelworks, said that after months of bombardment, the living conditions were appalling.

He said the air stank of rotting bodies, drinking water was running short and among the rubble were mines, rockets, artillery shells and unexploded cluster ordnance.

Elsewhere yesterday, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said three people were killed by shelling of Popasna and other major towns. Mr Gaidai said that in some areas, the bombardment was so intense, salvage workers could not recover the bodies.

“I don’t even want to speak about what’s happening with the people living in Popasna, Rubizhne and Novotoshkivske right now. These cities simply don’t exist anymore. The

Russians have completely destroyed them.” The UN human rights office said the war’s civilian death toll had reached 3,153 – up 254 from Friday. It stressed many more deaths may not have been reported.

Ukrainian sources said two Russian navy patrol boats were destroyed in a drone attack close to the Ukrainian coast on Sunday.

Ukraine

People arrive at an evacuation point for people fleeing Mariupol (Image: Getty)

The Raptor boats were being used to evacuate Russian military personnel from notorious Snake Island, and replace them with new personnel, it was reported. The attack came as Ukraine claimed to have detained Russian GRU military intelligence operatives in the Donbas.

A picture showed the military reconnaissance officers blindfolded and half naked after being held, said Ukrainian sources.

Meanwhile, two British “mercenaries” detained after fighting in Ukraine have been told they could face the death penalty.

The prosecutor of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic was seen smirking as he informed British fighters Shaun Pinner, 48, and Aiden Aslin, 28, of charges against them.

The DPR is a state recognised only by Russia. Under International law it is part of Ukraine.

Prosecutor Andrei Spivak said: “They are charged with a number of crimes against civilians of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

“The maximum punishment for these crimes is the death penalty.”

Aslin said to camera: “I understand fully what I am accused of and I agree up to the part about murdering civilians – I don’t agree with that.” Pinner appeared drained as he acknowledged the charges.

Russia has suspended the use of the death penalty and it has not been used since 1996, although there are moves to reintroduce it.

Ukraine

A woman from Mariupol cries after arriving at an evacuation point (Image: Getty)

”Fear and panic is all we have left”

An elderly lady, her face bruised and bloodied after fleeing the shelling that has razed Mariupol to the ground, was in tears and overwhelmed with emotion as she arrived in Zaporizhzhia, writes Tommy Walker.

Dina, below, had made the frightening 140-mile journey through the military bombardment of the Russian forces to the relative safety of the southeastern Ukrainian city. But the torment for the brave 81-year-old showed as she burst into tears Such dramatic images have been captured across the country as desperate Ukrainians attempt to escape Vladimir Putin’s brutal war.

Irina Fomina, 50, was pictured squatting down and crying out in relief after her van found refuge in a transit area.

She had made it through the shelling from her village of Ruska Lozova on the outskirts of the besieged city of Kharkiv.

Yet many people remain trapped in Mariupol, which is devastated by bombing.

Those lucky enough to make it out told how “they have nothing left” after the invasion has left thousands killed and homes destroyed.

In a shopping centre car park in Zaporizhzhia, packed buses and cars queued up to collect humanitarian aid.

A huge tent staffed with volunteers served food while clothes and accessories were also available.

The organisation was surprisingly smooth despite earlier reports claiming it was a bit chaotic.

Tatiana, 38, described her horrific journey to flee her home in Mariupol.

She said: “It was fear and panic because there was heavy fighting.We we than went 10 kilometres through the city in flames and with explosions.”

It was not until a mortar hit the apartment she shared with her husband and their 14-yearold daughter that they knew they had to leave. She explained: “The walls were destroyed but we didn’t get severely hurt. I think we got lucky.”

Yet her husband suffered a lung injury and needed treatment.Tatiana added: “While he was lying in hospital, a Russian plane totally bombed the hospital.The doctors were killed, the military patients were injured and they told civilians to leave.”

Ukraine

The pain is etched on the face of Dina, after she made it from Mariupol to safety in Zaporizhzhia (Image: Getty)

Astonishingly, her husband made it to Zaporizhzhia. Tatiana added: “There were constant explosions, total panic.

“People having no medicine, no doctors, and after we were attacked by aviation, it was awful.We are not planning to return if the city is occupied by Russians, we are waiting for Mariupol to be Ukrainian.”

Maxim, 58, said he and his family have “nothing left” in Mariupol where he worked as an electrical engineer.

He added: “We stayed there after the war started but we couldn’t get food, we were using frozen meat and we marinated and cooked it in the yard using some barbecue.”

Maxim admitted returning to Mariupol is out of the question.

He said: “There is nothing left, I saw my building had fallen down and my neighbours are dead.”

Moscow has declared Mariupol has been “liberated” with Putin even telling UN chief Antonio Guterres that Russia’s military operation in the city is “over”.

But concerns are now rising in Zaporizhzhia due to the increasing number of Russian attacks, including shelling last Tuesday.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.