UPDATE: Ukrainian soldiers trapped with civilians in the Azovstal plant in besieged Mariupol ask for evacuation like 1940 Dunkirk

UPDATE: Ukrainian soldiers trapped with civilians in the Azovstal plant in besieged Mariupol ask for evacuation like in 1940 Dunkirk.

Thick black smoke was seen billowing from the steel plant on Tuesday, April 26.

UPDATE 10.44 am (APRIL 28) – UKRAINIAN soldiers trapped with civilians in the Azovstal plant in the besieged city of Mariupol have asked for an evacuation like the one in 1940 in Dunkirk.

Operation Dynamo, also known as the miracle of Dunkirk or the Dunkirk evacuation, was an evacuation operation for Allied troops from the French territory in World War II that allowed thousands of soldiers to be saved.

The appeal was made by the commander of the 36th marine brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (FAU), Serhiy Volynsky, one of the nearly 500 Ukrainian soldiers who remain surrounded by Russian forces in the Azovstal steel plant.

We have been fighting against Russian troops for 62 days, now we are trapped in the Azovstal plant, performing tasks together with units of the Azov regiment and other units that have been trapped due to the hostilities in Mariupol,” Volynsky said in a posted video message via Facebook, as reported by Interfax-Ukraine.

The commander said that “there are more than 600 wounded men” trapped in the tunnels underneath the plant in “different levels of severity. They really need medical help – there are no facilities, no medicine, no staff to help them,” he added.

He also said that there are injured civilians who are in need of urgent care. “There are more civilians here with us, hundreds of them, dozens of children, there are many disabled people, many elderly people. The situation is very difficult, there are big problems with water, food…” Volynsky said.

He noted that he had already made appeals to world leaders and the Pope to listen to the defenders of Mariupol and to apply the “extraction” procedure, citing Operation Dynamo as an example, as reported by

He added: “Today my main message is to save Mariupol, to carry out the extraction procedure for us. Today is not 1940, it is 2022.

“People will just die here. The wounded will die and the living will die in combat, civilians are dying here, along with us in bunkers, private houses and apartment buildings, where they just get shot… A lot of people have died in the city, the city is practically erased from the face of the earth,” he said.

ORIGINAL 11.08 am (April 26) – THICK black smoke can be seen billowing from the Azovstal plant in the besieged city of Mariupol on Tuesday, April 26, where Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are believed to be pinned in.

Local authorities reported heavy shelling at the plant over the weekend despite Vladimir Putin’s words on April 21 that Russian troops would block the Azovstal steel plant – where Ukrainian forces are taking shelter – “so that not even a fly comes through.”

As reported by Sky News, it is believed that Ukraine troops are hiding underneath the complex in tunnels alongside 1,000 civilians.

There were reports on Monday, April 25 that a cease-fire had been announced by the Russian defence ministry, however, this did not materialise.

A statement at the time read: “From 14:00 Moscow time (1100 GMT) on April 25, 2022, will unilaterally stop any hostilities, withdraw units to a safe distance and ensure the withdrawal of civilians,” AFP reported.

Calls have been made online to rescue the Ukrainian troops and civilians trapped underground in the tunnels underneath the Azovstal plant.

One person on Twitter said: “Russia continues to bomb Mariupol with 5ton bombs. There are hundreds of children and civilians still hiding in tunnels and underground of the Azovstal steelworks. Show real pictures of children sitting there and unite efforts for evacuation. Help them while they’re still alive.”

On April 21, Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu said his troops had asked the remaining Ukrainian soldiers “to lay down their arms” while Putin had apparently “guaranteed” that those who do will receive “decent treatment in accordance with international legal acts.”

However, the mayor of the war-torn city of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko, said: “The soldiers are not willing to surrender, they are willing to leave only with weapons in their hands and continue defending our homeland, our Ukraine.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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