There is very little water and food left in the Azov Valley
Major General Serhiy Volyna, commander of Ukraine’s 36th Naval Brigade, said there were hundreds of people at the factory, including 60 young people, the youngest of whom was just four months old.
For almost two months, the Azovstal factory has become the bulwark of the Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol against the Russian offensive.
Volyna explained that due to the recent Russian attack on the plant’s makeshift hospital, they were left without vital medical equipment, revealing that they were “very short on water, very short on water, very short on food”.
“The operating room was hit directly. And all the surgical equipment, everything that was needed for the operation was destroyed, so now we can’t treat the injured, especially the ones with shrapnel and wounds. from bullets,” he said.
“We are currently tending to the injured with the equipment we have. We have a military hospital and they do everything they can to take care of the wounded. And right now we don’t have any surgical tools other than some basic things. But we also urgently need medicine. We are almost out of medication.”
Ukraine has a rescue plan
The evacuation of civilians from the besieged Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol is scheduled for April 29, according to a statement by Ukraine’s Presidential Office today. The statement gave no further details.
When asked about a possible evacuation plan, Volyna said he didn’t know the “details”.
“I know that the task force has arrived in Zaporizhia and will attempt to conduct a rescue operation.”
Volyna said he is in direct contact with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who keeps her updated “on the situation in Ukraine in general and around Mariupol” and “keeps our spirits high”. .
Volyna wasn’t sure how long she and the Ukrainians would hold out against the Russian attacks.
“We can’t tell you for sure how long we can hold out,” he said. “It all also depends on the opponent’s movement and luck. We are very confident that we will be evacuated, that the President will be able to evacuate or rescue us and we just have to hope and see if that happens.”
Russia is preparing for an attack
Meanwhile, Petro Andrushchenko, an adviser to the Mariupol mayor, added that a new wave of attacks seems imminent as the Russians partially blockaded Mariupol: “Currently, the occupiers have closed the Left District Square. Bench from Veselka Park. This could be due to another attempt to attack Azovstal or there will be street fighting.”
Veselka Park is located north of Azovstal.
He said Russia’s allies in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic are trying to “nationalize” Ukrainian assets such as ports.
On April 28, DPR chief Denis Pushilin said the port will be cleared and reconstruction will begin, and “the port will be fully operational, we are planning the first shipment in May”. .
Andrushchenko also said that “despite the public outcry,” the Russians are also launching a property investigation in the Mariupol regions.
The census will assess the condition of the high-rise buildings in the southern port city, as well as the remaining apartments and their owners.
Andrushchenko also spoke about Russia’s efforts to take on more government functions in Mariupol.
“Yesterday the occupiers in Mariupol issued the first birth certificates for the past month,” Andrushchenko added.
In recent days, Russian forces have stepped up attacks on the vast Azovstal industrial complex in a bid to fully seize Mariupol.
Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Holding, which owns the factory, described the scene as “a humanitarian catastrophe”.
“The city has been under a literal siege for almost two months now. And the Russians don’t allow us to bring food to the city or water to the city,” Ryzhenkov told CNN.
The Azovstal Steel Factory was built under the Soviet Union in 1933, it was partially demolished during the Nazi occupation in the 1940s before being rebuilt.