Mariupol under siege as Russian forces storm Ukrainian steel plant | USA TODAY

The Ukrainian city of Mariupol is still under siege by Russian forces as civilians still remained trapped at the Azovstal steel plant.

RELATED: Putin blockades hundreds of civilians inside Mariupol steel plant

A Ukraine military officer leading the last holdouts in rocket-battered Mariupol pleaded for help evacuating civilians and wounded soldiers as the Russian invasion roared into its 11th week with no end to the carnage in sight. Capt. Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, said in a video statement Thursday from the bunkers of a sprawling steel mill that the “wounded soldiers are dying in agony” due to the lack of medical care.

“We call on the world community to evacuate civilians, and I personally appeal to (Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy),” Palamar said, adding that bodies of the dead should be removed so that “Ukrainians can say goodbye to their heroes.” Earlier, Zelenskyy said more than 340 civilians had been evacuated from the steel plant serving as the last stand for his military in the city. Elsewhere, Ukrainian forces claimed gains in some territory in the south while repelling Russian attacks in the hotly contested Donbas.

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