Pentagon spokesman gets emotional as he talks about Putin’s actions in Ukraine
A commander inside the Azovstal steel complex in the besieged city of Mariupol told CNN of the relentless shelling of the plant, where hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have been trapped for weeks.
Sviatoslav Palamar of the Azov Regiment told CNN there was heavy shelling of the Azovstal factory last night from both ships and planes.
“At the same time, they are bombarding us from the ground,” he said. There had also been attempts to storm the area controlled by Ukrainian troops, he said, but they were deflected.
“On the one hand, the (Russians) had declared silence and non-combat mode, but parallel (at the same time) with infantry and equipment, they are trying to storm the territory of the factory,” he told CNN.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his defense minister in Moscow that the factory should be cordoned off but not stormed and said those who choose to surrender should be treated in accordance with international conventions.
Palamar told CNN there were many wounded fighters and more than 500 soldiers who needed guarantees for their lives to be saved.
“We also have civilians who will be killed if they storm the factory,” he said.
Palamar said Thursday morning a shelter for the injured at the factory was bombed.
“It’s very difficult to provide medical aid to our guys because our operating room was destroyed, where the remaining drugs and surgical equipment were stored,” he told CNN.
Asked if the Ukrainian troops remaining inside Azovstal were ready to surrender, Palamar said: “We don’t see any scenario of abandonment. UK, Israel or Turkey, a guarantee that would allow every soldier to leave safely.”
“We are ready to leave this territory because it is very hard and complicated to hold here with our personal weapons. We are ready for extraction, possibly extraction to the territory of a third country but with our weapons between the hands,” he continued. .
On the situation inside the factory: Palamar told CNN there was not much food and water left for the plant defenders. He said they had a limited amount of ammunition. “We don’t have the ability to destroy the planes and ships that are bombing us,” he said.
Even so, he insisted: “We are not considering quitting or the terms of quitting. We only consider warranties to leave factory territory. If there is no choice but to give up, we will not give up. ”
Palamar stressed that the military at the factory wanted the civilians taking refuge there to be evacuated.
“We have asked for the evacuation of civilians. We have been talking to the world since March that politicians or international organizations guarantee the safe extraction of civilians to Ukrainian territory. So if we are asked if we are ready for this that the civilians leave here, we are not only ready but we ask that the civilians be saved first,” he told CNN.
Speaking about the Ukrainian government’s plan to evacuate civilians stranded in the factory, which was due to come into effect on Friday, Palamar said he was aware of such a convoy coming to Mariupol but could not say. talk more for security reasons.
“We are counting on the Red Cross and the organizations that come here to take our heavily injured people first, because they need treatment, they need help,” he said.
Palamar said soldiers and civilians were in separate parts of the Azovstal plant. They were in cellars and bunkers but some had been injured.
“There are cellars and bunkers that you can’t reach because they’re under rubble. We don’t know if the people there are alive or not. There are children aged four months to 16. But there are people stuck in places you can’t get to,” he told CNN.