Ukrainian Marine Commander Makes Last-Ditch Plea for Evacuation From Mariupol

The commander of a marine unit steel plant made a last-ditch plea for Ukrainian women and children sheltering in the Azovstal steel plant to be evacuated to a third country as the Russian deadline to surrender Mariupol loomed.

Major Serhiy Volyna, commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, posted a video message to Facebook on April 20, pleading for the military personnel and civilians to be extracted to a third country.

“This is our appeal to the world … we are probably facing our last days, if not hours,” Volyna said, according to a translation posted with the video.

Volyna said Ukrainian forces were outnumbered 10 to one by the Russians, and were only defending the steel plant.

Unverified video of women and children said to be bunkers beneath the Azovstal plant in Mariupol has circulated in recent days. Volyna said there were more than 500 wounded people and “hundreds” of civilians sheltering in the building.

Moscow has given the Ukrainian forces several deadlines to surrender the plant and leave without their weapons. The latest was set to expire at 2 p.m. Moscow time (11 a.m. GMT) on April 20.

“We appeal to all word leaders to help us,” and extract the marines and civilians to a third-party state. Volyna tagged US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Facebook post.

The commander previously appealed to Pope Francis to help evacuate civilians from Azovstal. Credit: Serhiy Volyna via Storyful

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