Russia shells field hospital in Azovstal steel plant, Ukrainian forces say

·Senior Writer
·2 min read

Ukrainian forces holed up in the Azovstal steel factory in the besieged city of Mariupol said Thursday that Russian forces had bombed a field hospital in the plant.

Serhiy Volyna, commander of Ukraine's 36th Marine brigade forces in Mariupol, said about 600 people, including civilians, were wounded in the attack.

Videos released by the Azov Battalion show soldiers and civilians inside the factory in the aftermath of the apparent attack.

A dim image, lit by red light, shows a rescue worker digging through rubble.
A video screengrab shows a rescue worker digging through rubble in what is said to be the aftermath of a Russian bombardment of a field hospital in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Thursday. (Azov Regiment/Handout via Reuters)
A screen grab obtained from a handout video shows a woman in a mask holding a bottle as she inspects the back of another person.
Another screengrab shows a rescue worker tending to an injured person in the steel plant. (Azov Regiment/Handout via Reuters)

"The situation is difficult," Volyna told Sky News. "As for medical support, it is absent."

Russia's weeklong bombardment on the strategic port city has made it nearly impossible for humanitarian aid to reach the factory, which has emerged as the last pocket of organized resistance in the siege.

An estimated 2,000 troops and up to 1,000 civilians are believed to be holed up in nuclear bunkers underneath the structure. It’s unclear how much food, water and other supplies the survivors have left.

On Saturday, Ukraine’s National Guard released new video footage of what it said were women and children sheltering in underground tunnels. “We want to see peaceful skies. We want to breathe in fresh air,” one woman said in the video, according to a translation by the Associated Press.

Smoke rises above the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works plant.
Smoke rises above the Azovstal plant on Monday. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Mariupol had been "liberated" and publicly told his defense minister to call off the storming of the Azovstal plant, ordering that it be "blocked off" instead. But Ukrainian officials say the factory continues to come under assault.

According to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 2,829 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Feb. 24, when Russia's invasion began. But the agency believes the actual death toll is probably much higher.

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