By Lee Bullen
This is the moment Ukrainian resistance fighters help an elderly woman – seen trembling in shock – onto a bed in a basement in the Azovstal plant as defence sirens blare amid 35 reported airstrikes in just 24 hours.
The footage was filmed at the Azovstal iron and steelworks plant in the city of Mariupol.
Russian troops stormed the area on 19th April and destroyed large areas, however, pockets of organised resistance fighters remain at the plant, refusing to surrender to the invaders’ demands.
The Azov Battalion, a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine based in Mariupol, said on 26th April: “The Azovstal plant, which houses the defenders of Mariupol where civilians are hiding from the bombs in basements, continues to be struck by enemy fire. In the past 24 hours alone, 35 airstrikes were carried out, during which one of the stores caught fire.
“Most importantly, the affected civilians who are now trapped. Soldiers of the Azov Battalion provided first aid and make every effort to free civilians from the rubble.”
In the footage, a soldier and a helper are seen assisting an elderly woman, apparently trembling in shock, onto a bed.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin called a “special military operation”. Today marks the 62nd day of the invasion.
From 24th February to 26th April, the total combat losses of Russian troops stand at nearly 22,100 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military also claims that Russia has lost 918 battle tanks, 2,308 combat armored vehicles, 416 artillery systems, 149 MLR systems, 69 anti-aircraft systems, 184 warplanes, 154 helicopters, 1,643 vehicles, 8 vessels, 76 fuel tank trucks, 205 operational-tactical level UAVs, 31 units of special equipment, and four mobile SRBM systems.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Russia is failing in all of its war aims in Ukraine following his short visit to the besieged country.
The talks involving Blinken and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin in Kyiv on Sunday mark the highest-level visit by US officials since the Russian invasion began.
Officials say Washington has pledged over USD 700 million (GBP 549 million) in additional military aid to Kyiv.
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