Defenders of Mariupol from the Azov Regiment gave a press conference from the Russian-blocked Azovstal plant. The key points

Oleg Panfilovych, Kostia Andreikovets

Defenders of Mariupol from the Azov Regiment gave a two-hour briefing from the blocked Azovstal plant. Here are the key points:

  • Azovstal is constantly under intense shelling. There were more than 25 sorties of enemy aircraft during the night, including 3 strategic bombers. [Enemy’s] ]artillery, tanks, mortars, infantry and snipers are working. Russian troops are very close.
  • Civilians have been evacuated from the plant over the past 3 days. Nevertheless, some people may still be trapped [under the rubble]. The soldiers canʼt say for sure that everyone had been evacuated. There were no representatives of international organizations or authorities at the plant.
  • 25,000 people, most of whom were civilians, died in Mariupol.
  • The Ukrainian government has failed in preparation for the defense of the city.
  • Azov fighters killed 2,500 Russians and wounded 5,000 more. More than 60 of enemy tanks were also destroyed. These are personal calculations of the regiment for the period from February 24 to April 15.
  • Defenders of Azovstal cannot surrender because it will be “a gift” for the Russians and Russian propaganda. The Russians will definitely kill the members of Azov Regiment.
  • It is impossible to escape from the factory. Illia Samoilenko, the officer of the Azov Regiment, said that the commander of the 36th Marine Brigade, Volodymyr Baranyuk, refused to obey the order and tried to flee the city with a small group but was captured by the Russians. He called Baranyukʼs decision cowardice.
  • The military at Azovstal has orders to hold the defense. The fighters will “stand as long as necessary.”
  • Most of the defenders have a connection with their relatives. It inspires them.
  • The Azov Regiment asks to evacuate not only soldiers [who continue to hold the plant] and wounded but also fallen defenders. The fighters expect more decisive action from the [Ukrainian] authorities and the world.
  • The wife of Azov commander Denys Prokopenko urged all Ukrainians to join all initiatives that may speed up the evacuation or promote publicity in the world. She also added that the Ukrainian authorities, in her opinion, are not doing enough to evacuate [the defenders of Mariupol]
  • The main message of the defenders of Mariupol to Ukrainians: “do not devalue our achievements and sacrifices.” Message to the government: “We have shown what it means to do the impossible. You do your job and show what it means to do impossible too.”