Russian activist, wife of Azovstal’s defender, asks the Pope to help the besieged fighter

A group of Ukrainian soldier wives and Russian opposition activists meet Pope Francis in the Vatican to rescue hundreds of Ukrainian defenders who are currently making their last stand at the besieged Azovstal ironworks in Mariupol. Asked for help.

Pyotr Verzilov, a member of the Pussy Riot activist group and publisher of the independent Mediazona news website, I have written On Twitter, as Russian troops surround the factory, the group asked the Pope to “intervene in the fate of Azovstal’s defenders.”

Verzilov has joined Kateryna Prokopenko and Yulia Fedosiuk. Their husband is one of Mariupol’s fighters.

“We asked him to come and talk to Ukraine [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, to tell him, “Let them go.” He said he would pray for us. “

Her husband, Dennis Prokopenko, is one of the leaders of the Azov Regiment, who turned from a former far-right battalion to a National Guard, leading the defense of the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works in southern Ukraine.

The women said the meeting with Pope Francis lasted about five minutes, following a weekly general audience at St. Peter’s Square.

“I hope this conference gives us the opportunity to save their lives. We are ready for the Pope’s actions. From his delegation, our soldiers evacuate to a third country. I’m ready, “said Proco Penco.

The vast Azovstali factory has been besieged for over two months and remains the only part of Mariupol that has not been occupied by Russian troops.

Ukrainian officials announced on the weekend that all women, children and older civilians who had been evacuated to the factory were successfully evacuated.

Their departure left hundreds of Ukrainian troops declining in supplies, many of whom were injured.

“700 soldiers have been injured, gangrene and amputated,” Fedshiuk, another member of the group, told the Pope.

“Many of them are dead and we couldn’t bury them. We help the Pope to be a third party in this war and let them go through the (humanitarian) corridor. I asked, “she said.

“He was praying for us and told us he was doing everything,” he can.

AFP contributed to the report. Russian activist, wife of Azovstal’s defender, asks the Pope to help the besieged fighter

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