A small number of Ukrainian soldiers are holding out, trapped under the Azovstal steelworks - as Correspondent John Ray reports
Wounded Ukrainian defenders trapped in Mariupol's besieged Azovstal steel plant have been captured in a series of moving images as part of an appeal urging the world to act and evacuate them.
Fighters of the Azov Batallion said their wounded comrades are living in unsanitary conditions “with open wounds bandaged with non-sterile remnants of bandages, without the necessary medication and even food.”
An estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters - along with 100 civilians, officials say - remain holed up in the plant's complex underground tunnels representing the last pocket of organised resistance in the embattled city.
A statement accompanying the photos posted on Telegram channel named “Azov - Mariupol” on Tuesday, said there were several hundred wounded fighters in the plant which Russian forces continue to bombard.
They released the photos of their injured comrades - who they said were no longer combatants - in an appeal to the United Nations and Red Cross to arrange their evacuation.
The statement urged “the whole civilised world must see the conditions in which the wounded, crippled defenders of Mariupol are and act.”
"We demand the immediate evacuation of wounded servicemen to Ukrainian-controlled territories, where they will be assisted and provided with proper care," the statement concluded.
The series of ten photos shows fighters with severe injuries, including two standing on crutches who have had their left legs amputated, one with his left arm amputated at the shoulder, and another with his right arm amputated above the elbow with the stump bandaged.
Two other images show men being treated by medics, while another has an external fixation device, screwed into broken limbs to stabilise them, on his right arm.
It was not possible to independently verify where the photos were shot or the identities of those depicted.
The seaside steel mill is the only part of the strategic port city that has not been taken over by Russian forces.
With a warren of tunnels and bunkers extending deep beneath the plant, hundreds of civilians had taken shelter there from the intense bombardment of their city.
In recent days, the United Nations and Red Cross organised a dramatic rescue of what some officials said were the last civilians, with all women, children and the elderly said to have been evacuated.
But on Tuesday, two officials said about 100 people were believed to still be trapped in the plant.
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