Fighters Share Desperate Videos From Mariupol Steel Plant to Promote Story

Since April 18, Azov has released a number of videos focusing on ordinary people who say they are trapped at the factory, and mainly women and children. “I want everyone who watches this video to help us create this green corridor to help us get out of here,” said a mother holding her toddler in a video released on April 24, as Ukraine is celebrating Orthodox Easter. “Safe. Alive. Civilians and soldiers.”

While Azov was a party to the conflict, The Times verified footage previously released by the team. In a recently shared video, Azov soldiers enjoy food for children and chat with adults. The relationship between the soldiers and those appearing on camera and the circumstances that created these images is unclear.

Graphic images shared on April 26 on social media accounts associated with the regiment show wounded people lying on stretchers on a concrete floor, in a makeshift hospital in a steel mill.

Two days later, Azov posted a video to his social media channels of what they said were the aftermath of Russian attacks on a makeshift hospital inside Azovstal. The footage shows about two dozen people, some of them wearing bandages and bandages, sitting inside a dimly lit room. A man with a headlamp was seen digging through the rubble. Another was holding a plastic bottle in his hand shaking and sobbing.

Mikhail Vershinin, head of the Donetsk Regional Patrol Police, said: “The attack was carried out in an area where many people were injured. “People were buried under the rubble, some were dead. There are wounds – wounds that supersede the ones they already have. ”

The Azov Regiment was originally formed in May 2014 as the Azov Battalion, named for the waters where Mariupol and its now destroyed port, to defend the city from pro-forces Moscow attack. At the time, it was known to its far-right, nationalist members who were used by the Kremlin to justify its military campaign as having “anti-fascist” purposes.

The group’s controversial reputation remains and although it still has some nationalist members, analysts say the unit, now known as the Azov regiment, has grown since its inception. integrated into the regular combat force of the Ukrainian army.

Several soldiers have been inside the factory since March 1, Captain Palamar told The Times.

Maria Zolkina, a Ukrainian political analyst with the Organization for Democratic Initiatives, said the regimental leadership made the decision to publicly coordinate with their plea for evacuation and exploit because they feel they have run out of alternatives.

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