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Pictures |  The long ordeal of the wounded Azovstal soldiers

Pictures | The long ordeal of the wounded Azovstal soldiers

One of the Ukrainian fighters still trapped at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol describes the terrible conditions in which the wounded were found.

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Speaking to Ukrainian television from inside the factory, the unknown fighter said there were about 600 wounded in the sprawling compound. “The conditions are horrific,” he said.

“Today I was in the hospital. It’s a huge gym in a school with dozens of bunk beds. Everything else is just on the floor. The fighters are simply lying without limbs, without arms, without legs,” the fighter said.

France Press agency

They are dying in great numbers because we cannot provide proper medical care. There are no medicines. Those who are seriously injured … it is almost impossible to save them,” he says.

He described the sanitary conditions in the hospital as “absolutely unhealthy”.

“It’s already much warmer, so there are flies. The smell is disgusting,” said the soldier.

France Press agency

After the operating room ceiling collapsed, she was moved to the same hospital room, says the fighter. Doctors work without anesthesia.

The fighter asserts that he witnessed an operation on a soldier who was seriously wounded in the leg. He had a belt between his teeth. He is not anesthetized. Two doctors are trying to get something out of it. He’s screaming at that belt, his leg is trembling.”

The fighter said he was not sure all civilians would be evacuated from the huge compound.

“No one can be 100% sure. Let’s just say we evacuated the civilians we knew. They might be somewhere under the rubble, in some bunkers. We haven’t explored some of the shelters yet. So, nobody can be 100% sure. But the civilians we knew were here, we evacuated them all.”

Negotiations to evacuate the seriously wounded from Azovstal were not reported as progressing. Last Friday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said negotiations were difficult.

France Press agency

At the moment, very difficult negotiations are taking place on the next stage of the evacuation mission: the withdrawal of the seriously wounded and the doctors. We are talking about a large number of people.”

The photos published by the Azov Regiment also show the harsh reality of wounded soldiers calling for help.

“The entire civilized world must see the conditions in which the wounded and crippled defenders of Mariupol find themselves and act! (…) We call on the United Nations and the Red Cross to show humanity and reaffirm the basic principles upon which you were founded by helping the wounded who are no longer combatants.”

Russian forces have been trying to take control of the plant since May 3. More than a thousand soldiers, many of them wounded, are still trapped inside the huge steel mills. The Azovstal plant is the last pocket of resistance in the port city of Mariupol, now controlled by the Russians.

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On May 7, women, children and the elderly were evacuated from the factory.