This shocking Ukrainian video claims to show scenes of carnage, death and destruction in Mariupol where a few Ukrainian troops remain fighting in the besieged city.
Newsflash obtained the footage from the Azov Regiment earlier today (Wednesday, 20th April).
The dystopian footage shows dead bodies and wreckage in the streets, as well as residential buildings being hit and billowing flames.
Azov said: “What is Mariupol and where are the Mariupol residents today?
“It is a city completely destroyed, bombed, burned and raped by the Russian occupiers. There are hundreds of dead bodies on the streets. It has seen the burial of family members in yards, and kindergartens, and the constant shelling of residential areas by Russian killers.”
Azov added: “However, the city does not give up and continues to be Ukrainian as long as it is protected by courageous defenders until the last bullet is fired. The city must be Ukrainian if it is to have a happy future . . .
A midday CET deadline by Russia for Ukrainian troops in the besieged port city to surrender has meanwhile once again passed without a reply.
The last remaining Ukrainian troops are reportedly holed up in the Azovstal metallurgical plant as Russian forces close in.
Major Serhiy Volyna, commander of Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, says his troops refuse to surrender and want to be evacuated to a third country instead.
Meanwhile, a preliminary agreement for a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians in the city has been reached by both sides, though similar efforts have previously failed.
The taking of Mariupol is believed to be symbolic for the Kremlin because it would leave Russia with an uninterrupted band of territory from north of Kharkiv in the north-east of Ukraine stretching around to Kherson in the south.
The defeat of the Azov Regiment would also allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to claim a symbolic victory in the wake of his forces’ retreat from the north of the country.
President Putin ostensibly launched his “special military operation” to achieve the “demilitarisation and denazification” of Ukraine.
Although some members of the Azov Regiment were reported to have far-right tendencies, it has more recently earned a reputation as a particularly tough fighting force.
It is now also a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine – the country’s national gendarmerie and internal military force.
Ukrainian officials say 95 per cent of Mariupol has been destroyed over the course of the invasion, largely by Russian bombardments.