Mariupol defenders wives call for entire garrison to be evacuated - horrifying conditions at Azovstal

·3 min read

Olena Roshchina – Sunday, 15 May 2022, 15:13

The wives of Mariupol defenders are urging the world to save the entire garrison of Ukrainian soldiers at Azovstal, and not just the heavily wounded soldiers, via the extraction procedure. They have almost no water, food, or medication left.

Source: Hanna Naumenko, Kateryna Prokopenko, Yulia Feodosiuk, Olha Andrianova, Daria Tsyrkunova, the wives of Mariupol defenders, in an online conversation with reporters

Quote: "The number of casualties is constantly changing: some of the wounded soldiers die, while others incur injuries in shelling and bombardment. We know that there were around 700 wounded soldiers, but right now we don’t know the exact number…

Obviously, the heavily wounded soldiers, those who might die within the next 24 hours, have to be rescued first, but we insist that absolutely everyone must be evacuated. Otherwise, it’s an absurd situation: today we evacuate all of the wounded soldiers, but tomorrow there will be 200 more casualties due to the constant bombardment.

We have to discuss evacuation, via an evacuation corridor, for the entire garrison. Only then will a lot of people be evacuated. They are those who are still alive, there are casualties, there are combat-ready soldiers, and there are bodies that have to be retrieved."

Details: According to the women, the conditions in which the wounded soldiers find themselves are "horrifying." The soldiers turn a blind eye to minor injuries, but some are suffering from severe wounds: they are missing limbs, their internal organs are shot through, or their injuries cover large parts of their bodies.

There is a very limited amount of antibiotics, which are used in only the most severe cases. Soldiers who have had their limbs amputated have no access to antibiotics or painkillers. Those with severe injuries have to just put up with the pain, one of the women said.

"They get their limbs amputated, even if they just have minor injuries, without painkillers, they are cut off just like that…They have no medicines. They all have to share one glass of water: they take sips of it every 5-6 hours," another woman added.

The building where a hospital was set up has been getting very hot; there are few opportunities to deliver food and water, which are in short supply to begin with, to the hospital.

Wounded soldiers are developing sepsis.

Soldiers’ wives are convinced that "it is possible to break the siege militarily, but there is not enough time to do so." It will be possible to break the siege of Mariupol when other cities are liberated.

The women therefore hope that the Ukrainian government will join forces with other countries, and that this coalition will be successful in rescuing those who remain at Azovstal.

They also thanked the Kalush Orchestra for using their platform on the Eurovision stage to call on the world to save Mariupol and Azovstal.

Earlier: On 14 May, a soldier whose call sign is Politsia [Police] and who remains at Azovstal, said that there are nearly 600 wounded soldiers there and almost no medicine, water, or food; he mentioned that amputations are carried out without pain killers.

Background:

  • The city of Mariupol is located in the south of Ukraine, on the coast of the Azov Sea. It has been under the Russian siege since 1 March. Ukrainian soldiers defending Mariupol – the Azov Regiment, marines, border guards, and police officers – have been encircled and blockaded by the Russian troops at the Azovstal plant since late April.

  • They are calling on the world to help rescue them: the marines are asking for an extraction procedure to be carried out, and the Azov Regiment soldiers call for the evacuation of the wounded soldiers.

  • Civilians were evacuated from Azovstal a week ago. Russia continues to oppose all measures that would make the evacuation of Ukrainian soldiers possible, even though Turkey is prepared to evacuate them by sea and to guarantee that they will no longer participate in combat action in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government is trying to arrange the evacuation of at least the 60 most heavily wounded soldiers.