Kyiv urges MSF to evacuate soldiers from besieged steelworks

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Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukraine on Saturday urged aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to evacuate its soldiers from their last holdout in the devastated port city of Mariupol.

Its plea came just hours after Kyiv announced “all women, children and the elderly” had been rescued from the Soviet-era tunnels and bunkers under the sprawling Azovstal steelworks.

Fears are now mounting of a showdown between remaining the fighters and besieging Russian forces.

Ukraine “calls on MSF to organise a mission to evacuate the defenders of Mariupol and Azovstal and provide medical care to the wounded people, whose human rights were violated by Russian Federation,” the ministry of reintegration of temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine wrote in a statement in English.

They have been “for 72 days in a row under… ongoing shelling and attacks by the Russian army”, it added.

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“Now, there is a lack of medicines, water and food, wounded soldiers are dying because of gangrene and sepsis.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that “diplomatic options” were under way to rescue Ukrainian soldiers from the Mariupol steelworks, as civilian evacuations continued.

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© Agence France-Presse

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