At today's briefing, relatives of Azovstal's Ukrainian defenders have urged Beijing to mediate talks on the extraction of fighters who continue to resist the occupiers.
Natalia Zarytska, the wife of a warrior who continues to defend the besieged plant, said the occupiers could kill Ukrainians, but opt not to.
"My husband informs that Russia could mop up our soldiers with infantry, but it does not. Russia is dragging out this painful torment. They are fired at with all possible weapons. We are not afraid to die, we are afraid to live in a world where values are destroyed. Stop the destruction, because the whole world can turn into Azovstal," she said.
Natalia appealed to Chinese leader Xi Jinping to help rescue the Ukrainian military, who now remain at the encircled plant in Mariupol.
"Today, after all the talks, there is one person whom Putin will find it difficult to refuse. We ask the esteemed Xi Jinping to show concern for world values and great Eastern wisdom — and to join in saving the defenders of Mariupol. We believe that China will not stay aside," Zarytska pleaded.
Soldier Anna Ivleeva's husband is also at Azovstal. He is a Marine.
"My commanders and comrades were the first to fight in this war. And now they are at Azovstal with other units. They proved to be stronger than the steel produced at that plant," said Anna.
She also believes that Putin can enter into a dialogue with the Chinese leader. Other relatives preseent at the briefing said that Azovstal defenders deem extraction to Turkey as the only way out at the moment.
Rescue of Azovstal fighters
On May 10, the Command of the National Guard of Ukraine stated that the President of Ukraine and the leadership of the state are looking for opportunities to evacuate civilians from Azovstal and apply the extraction procedure for wounded soldiers, medics and the military.
On May 11, Reintegration Minister Iryna Vereshchuk offered to exchange the severely wounded Azovstal fighters for captured Russian servicemen according to standard rules. On May 12, she said that Ukraine was negotiating the evacuation of 38 seriously wounded Azovstal defenders. However, there is no green light from Russia yet.
Acting Commander of the 36th Separate Marine Brigade Serhiy :volyna" Volynskyi said on April 27 that more than 600 wounded soldiers were at the plant.