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Brit fighters trapped in bunkers with starving Ukrainians in besieged Mariupol

UP to 20 Brit fighters were last night trapped in bunkers pounded by Russian airstrikes as they mounted a defiant last stand in Mariupol.

They are holed up with hundreds of starving civilians — including children and women filmed pleading for mercy yesterday.

Up to 20 Brit fighters were trapped in bunkers pounded by Russian airstrikes in Mariupol - pictured the Azovstal steelworks plant

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Up to 20 Brit fighters were trapped in bunkers pounded by Russian airstrikes in Mariupol – pictured the Azovstal steelworks plantCredit: Getty
In a poignant video clip a girl said: 'On February 27, we left home with mum and granny. We haven’t seen the sky or the sun since'

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In a poignant video clip a girl said: ‘On February 27, we left home with mum and granny. We haven’t seen the sky or the sun since’
A starving mum speaks about the terror of being in a bunker in besieged Mariupol

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A starving mum speaks about the terror of being in a bunker in besieged MariupolCredit: Reuters

One observer said of the scene beneath the fortress-like Azovstal steelworks: “They are desperately holding out — it’s like the Alamo.”

It came as a three-month-old baby was among at least six people killed by a missile strike in Odessa.

The Mariupol Brits are volunteers with the Ukrainian army who have vowed to never surrender.

They fear being tortured and killed if captured — but face starvation after Mad Vlad Putin’s forces cut off supplies.

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A British fighter, with them before being injured and moved to Kyiv, said: “There are as many as 20 British lads still there and I fear for them.

“Many are veterans of the conflict in the Donbas. A few have Ukrainian relatives.

“The lads are saving a bullet for themselves — they will not be taken alive.”

Meanwhile, a boy in the bunkers made a heartbreaking appeal to “see the sun again”.

The blue-eyed lad says in a ten-minute clip released by Ukraine’s Azov Battalion: “I want to get out of here.

“We have been sitting here for two months and I want to see the sun.”

The lad, who had just one adult front tooth, said: “Sometimes the lights are on, sometimes they are off. Outside on the street, when our houses are rebuilt, we can live in peace.”

Families fled to the Azovstal’s shelters as Putin’s forces invaded on February 24.

Mariupol was surrounded in days as Russian troops made rapid advances out of separatist-held Donbas and Crimea.

Up to 20,000 people are thought to have died in the eight-week siege described by the Red Cross as a “life-and-death nightmare”.

In the film, a girl in a red gilet says: “On February 27, we left home with mum and granny. We haven’t seen the sky or the sun since.

“I want to get out of here, so that it’s safe, so that no one gets hurt, and to live safely.”

Some are wives and children of the Azov fighters.

The battalion is part of the National Guard and has been dogged by links to neo-Nazis.

Its troops have led the defence of Mariupol along with the 36th Marines.

Both groups rejected Russian deadlines to surrender, insisting offers to lay down their arms were a trap.

‘LIFE-AND-DEATH NIGHTMARE’

An aide to Mariupol’s mayor said attempts to open human corridors to evacuate more civilians from the city yesterday had been abandoned.

Meanwhile, Russian missiles killed six people including the three-month-old baby in the Black Sea port of Odessa.

And at least two people died in Kharkiv but Ukraine’s forces counter-attacked outside the city and pushed the Russians back from positions a few miles from the border.

Governor Oleh Synehubov said Bezruky, Slatine and Prudianka were liberated.

Despite the continued bombardment yesterday, the Ministry of Defence in London said “no major gains” had been made by Russia in the past 24 hours.

Officials praised Ukraine’s “counter-attacks to hinder their efforts”.

The MoD said Russia “had not established control”.

It said: “Despite their stated conquest of Mariupol, heavy fighting continues to take place frustrating Russian attempts to capture the city thus further slowing their desired progress in the Donbas.”

Boris Johnson spoke to President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday to confirm Britain would supply new weaponry including drones, anti-tank weapons and protected mobility vehicles.

The PM received praise from Ukraine for allowing their soldiers to visit the UK to learn how to use armoured vehicles.

No10 last night said: “President Zelensky thanked the Prime Minister for the training of Ukrainian military personnel currently taking place in the UK.”

The pair also discussed how the UK would work with allies to develop a “long-term security solution” for the country, with more financial support being discussed, Downing Street said.

Mr Zelensky’s deputy chief of staff Andriy Sybiga said the two country’s leaders had spoken about a new phase of military aid, including the provision of heavy weapons.

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Meanwhile, Mr Zelensky said he would hold talks today in Kyiv with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.

And he vowed that Russian commanders would face trial for war crimes in Ukraine.

Pail of water against blaze

A NEIGHBOUR tries to douse flames with a bucket of water after the flat next door was hit in a Russian rocket blitz.

But as fire crews rushed to help tackle the flames in the ninth-storey of a tower block, they came under fire.

A neighbour uses a bucket of water on 12ft flames in a futile bid to extinguish the fire

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A neighbour uses a bucket of water on 12ft flames in a futile bid to extinguish the fireCredit: Peter Jordan
As fire crews rushed to help tackle the flames in the ninth-storey of a tower block they came under fire

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As fire crews rushed to help tackle the flames in the ninth-storey of a tower block they came under fireCredit: Peter Jordan

Firefighters at an industrial estate were also targeted in a similar double-tap blitz aimed at first responders.

The ruthless tactic was being used in Kharkiv where the Russian barrage killed two people and left 21 civilians injured yesterday.

Another 39 fighters, including a female soldier, were taken to the city’s hospitals.

Kharkiv has been under non-stop bombardment since the Russian invasion began.

Captives chat

THE mum of a British soldier has spoken with her son for the first time since he was captured by Russian troops.

Angela Wood’s son, Aiden Aslin, 28, surrendered in the besieged port city of Mariupol after running out of food and water.

His worried mum said she received a phone call from his captors last week and was able to organise a video call with her son.

Angela said they pressed Aiden to tell her to personally pressure the PM for him to be freed in exchange for pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk.

Angela, of Balderton, Notts, said: “I had to say that, with the greatest of respect, I didn’t have the Prime Minister on speed dial.

“I could hear his Russian captors talking in the background. There were pauses where Aiden was being told what to say. I told them that I expected them to treat him humanely. He is not a mercenary, not a spy.”

But she said it seemed that her son, originally from Newark, Notts, was being treated well and was being fed and given water.



Reference-www.thesun.co.uk

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