Soldier's dire 'last appeal' with Putin on the cusp of major victory

·3-min read

A soldier from a Ukrainian city on the brink of losing a critical battle in the war with Russia has made what might be his last video.

In the harrowing footage, he pleads for help for himself and his fellow remaining troops in Mariupol.

It comes after Russian forces refocused efforts to the east after retreating from the capital Kyiv.

Mariupol, a port city in Ukraine's east has been targeted since the start of Russia's invasion. People from the city were forced to hide in basements from the invader's attacks while many have long since fled.

The city was once prosperous, with a population of about 400,000. It is now a wasteland, where corpses lie in the streets.

Rescuers work at a residential building damaged during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 19, 2022.
The port city of Mariupol has been under attack since the start of Russia's invasion. Source: Reuters

There are still people defending the area and about 1000 civilians sheltering at the Azovstal steel plant, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this week.

Serhiy Volynsky, the commander of Ukraine's 36th Marine Brigade, made a heartfelt video that was shared to social media, where he explained Ukrainian forces were outnumbered 10 to one.

"This is our appeal to the world, this could be the last appeal of our lives," he said in the video.

"We are probably facing our last days, if not hours. The enemy is outnumbering us 10 to one, they have [an] advantage in the air, in artillery, in their forces on land, in equipment and in tanks."

Serhiy Volynsky pleaded for help, saying military personnel and civilians don't have long as Russian forces push forward in Mariupol. Source: U24 News
Serhiy Volynsky pleaded for help, saying military personnel and civilians don't have long as Russian forces push forward in Mariupol. Source: U24 News

Mr Volynsky said they are only defending one object — the steel mill, where there is military personnel and civilians injured due to the conflict.

He pleaded to world leaders for help, asking for extraction and to take them to a "third party state".

"All of us — Mariupol military battalion of soldiers, more than 500 wounded and hundreds of civilians including women and children, we plead you to take us to safety on the territory of a third party state," he said.

Capturing Mariupol would be a massive strategic win for Russia. It would link the territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Over the weekend, Russia gave remaining troops in Mariupol an ultimatum to surrender or die, which has now expired.

Smoke rises above a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works company during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 20, 2022.
Civilians are sheltering at the Azovstal steel mill, many are injured from the conflict. Source: Reuters

Shortly before the deadline expired, Russian-backed separatists said just five people had surrendered. The previous day, Russia said no one had responded to a similar ultimatum.

Ukraine announced plans to send 90 buses to evacuate 6000 civilians from Mariupol, saying it had reached a "preliminary agreement" with Russia on a safe corridor, for the first time in weeks.

However none of those earlier agreements have succeeded on the ground, with troops blocking all convoys.

with Reuters

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