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Families of Azovstal defenders ask Turkish President for help

On Thursday the families of the Azowstal defenders appealed to international leaders, particularly the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for help in evacuating Ukrainian soldiers defending the Azovstal combine in Mariupol. “You have the opportunity to go down in history as a hero who brought peace,” the father of one of the soldiers said during a press conference in Kyiv.

At a press conference in Kyiv, relatives of defenders of Azovstal, the last point of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol, made an emotional plea to world leaders and the international community to rescue them. The remaining soldiers have vowed to fight to the end if help does not arrive.

After 2½ violent months, the standoff at the Azovstal plant appears to be entering an endgame.

The remaining soldiers, a force Ukrainian officials say still stands at nearly 1,000, have vowed to fight to the end if help does not arrive. https://t.co/xQTEqLB1vy

— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 12, 2022

“My husband is now in Azovstal. I appeal to everyone, please save our soldiers. We call on everyone: do something, we don’t have time,” said the wife of one of the soldiers fighting in Mariupol facilities.

She also addressed the Turkish president. “I ask you to help save the lives of our soldiers in Mariupol. You have great authority among world leaders,” she said.

Her son also pleaded for the soldiers to be rescued. “Many of them are wounded. Please save Mariupol,” the boy said.

According to the father of one of the soldiers, there is not a war going on at the compound, but a massacre. “This is a violation of all conventions, it is a simple killing of people. We want the evacuation of people located in Azovstal, the wounded and the bodies (of the dead) to neutral territory,” he said.

The faces of #Azovstal. pic.twitter.com/UUR2tlo7pe

— KyivPost (@KyivPost) May 12, 2022

As he stressed, the evacuation of soldiers should be undertaken by a person who has the political authority to carry it out smoothly. “From a political, geopolitical point of view, such a country could be Turkey, and such a hero could be its president,” he said.

“Please like a man to a man, as a father to a father, please help take my son and his companions out of there. You already have experience in similar operations in the Middle East. We ask you to send a civilian unarmed ship to take our people out of there,” the father stressed.

#Ukraine has offered #Russia to exchange wounded Ukrainian soldiers who are on the territory of the #Azovstal plant in Mariupol for captured Russian soldiers "according to the standard rules for exchange of prisoners of war",said Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk. pic.twitter.com/MQnNTi1TuH

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) May 11, 2022

The wife of one of the soldiers said she last had contact with her husband on May 7. According to her, he said that “it is possible that we will not see each other again, the siege of Azovstal is narrowing. For us this is the end,” the woman reported.

⚡️ Russian proxies: Extraction of Ukrainian military from Azovstal won't be allowed.

Denis Pushilin, leader of the Kremlin’s proxies in Donetsk, said Russian forces continue attempts to seize the steel plant in Mariupol and rule out extraction of Ukrainian soldiers from there.

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) May 12, 2022


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