Russian tanks roll along a street in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 23, 2022. AP
An estimated 100,000 civilians remain in the city, and up to 1,000 are living beneath a sprawling Soviet-era steel plant, according to Ukrainian officials. Ukraine has not said how many fighters are also in the plant, the only part of Mariupol not occupied by Russian forces, but Russia put the number at about 2,000.
Russian state media outlets reported Saturday that 25 civilians had been evacuated from the Azovstal steelworks, though there was no confirmation from U.N. or Ukrainian officials. Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said 19 adults and six children were brought out, but gave no further details.
Video and images from inside the plant, shared with The Associated Press by two Ukrainian women who said their husbands are among the fighters refusing to surrender there, showed unidentified men with stained bandages; others had open wounds or amputated limbs.
A skeleton medical staff was treating at least 600 wounded people, said the women, who identified their husbands as members of the Azov Regiment of Ukraine's National Guard. Some of the wounds were rotting with gangrene, they said.
In the video the men said that they eat just once daily and share as little as 1.5 liters (50 ounces) of water a day among four people, and that supplies inside the besieged facility are depleted.
The AP could not independently verify the date and location of the video, which the women said was taken in the last week in the warren of passageways beneath the plant.
One shirtless man appeared to be in pain as he described his wounds: two broken ribs, a punctured lung and a dislocated arm that ``was hanging on the flesh.''
``I want to tell everyone who sees this: If you will not stop this here, in Ukraine, it will go further, to Europe,`` he said.