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Ukrainian fighter trapped in Mariupol steel plant asks Elon Musk for help

A view shows destroyed facilities of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine May 11, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

One of the fighters holed up in a steelworks besieged by Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol has appealed to SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk to help evacuate them.

Many civilians were rescued from the sprawling Azovstal plant last week under an agreement with Russia, but no deal has been reached with Moscow on allowing out hundreds of fighters, some of whom are wounded, after weeks of bombardment.

"@elonmusk people say you come from another planet to teach people to believe in the impossible. Our planets are next to each other, as I live where it is nearly impossible to survive," marine commander Serhiy Volina wrote on Twitter.

"Help us get out of Azovstal to a mediating country. If not you, then who? Give me a hint."

Musk, the world's richest man, owns rocket company SpaceX and electric car maker Tesla, and is planning to buy Twitter. It was not immediately clear whether Musk had seen Volina's tweet.

Ukrainian officials say there are about 1,000 fighters holding out in Azovstal's many underground tunnels, hundreds of whom are seriously wounded and in need of urgent evacuation. The plant is under heavy Russian fire.

In February, when Ukraine's internet was disrupted following Russia's invasion, Musk responded to a tweet by a Ukrainian government official seeking help. Musk said SpaceX's Starlink satellite broadband service was available in Ukraine and that SpaceX was sending more terminals to the country.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Writing by Timothy Heritage, editing by John Stonestreet)

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Dive Deeper:
Ukrainian fighter trapped in Mariupol steelworks pleads for Elon Musk to help
‘If not you, then who?’ fighter asks as survivors fear death in sprawling steel plant
Wives of Ukrainian soldiers trapped in Mariupol steel plant beg Pope Francis for help
Kateryna Prokopenko, 27, and Yuliya Fedosiuk, 29, asked Pope Francis to demand clemency for their husbands from Vladimir Putin. The…
'Save Azovstal!' Relatives of Ukrainian fighters in steel plant plead for help
Relatives and supporters of the Ukrainian fighters holed up in the Azovstal steel plant demonstrated in Kyiv on Thursday, pleading…
Ukrainian commander asks Elon Musk for help says, ‘You come from another planet’
Elon Musk, who has more than 92 million followers  on Twitter, has previously used the platform to challenge Russian President…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Relatives of Mariupol steel mill fighters plead for help: ‘They’re abandoning our soldiers’
Azovstal steelworks is final stronghold in Mariupol, which has been bombarded by Russian troops for weeks
Besieged fighters at Azovstal works in plea for help to evacuate wounded comrades to safety
It is a scene reminiscent of the horrors of World War I trench warfare – unshaven soldiers in filthy uniforms,…
Get all your news in one place