A Ukrainian commander among the fighters besieged by Russian forces at the Azovstal factory in Mariupol on Wednesday appealed for help directly to US billionaire Elon Musk to intervene to save them.
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“People say you come from another planet to teach people to believe in the impossible. (…) Where I live, it is almost impossible to survive”, tweeted Sergei Volyna, commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of Mariupol.
“Help us to leave Azovstal for a third country. If not you, who else? Give me a lead,” he continued, indicating that he created an account on Twitter specifically to directly challenge the richest man in the world who is trying to buy the social network for 44 billion dollars.
The serviceman asked “every person on planet Earth” to help ensure that Elon Musk is aware of his appeal.
Kyiv said this week that more than a thousand soldiers, many of them injured, were still in the bowels of the steelworks which house a sprawling underground maze dating back to the Soviet era. It is the only pocket of resistance in the strategic port city of Mariupol, otherwise now controlled by the Russians.
Women, children and the elderly were evacuated as part of a humanitarian mission coordinated by the United Nations and the Red Cross (ICRC).
Elon Musk has 92 million followers on Twitter, whose users in Ukraine have multiplied to be informed and find help.
The whimsical billionaire challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin in mid-March in a “man-to-man fight” with Ukraine as the stake.
A shipment of terminals from Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service arrived in Ukraine in early March, to help bring internet connection to areas hit by the assaults of the Russian army which invaded the country on February 24.