(Kyiv) 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.

“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 Mariupol Marine Brigade.

“Help us 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 address the richest man in the world who is trying to buy the social network for $44 billion.

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 1,000 soldiers, many of them injured, were still in the bowels of the steelworks that house a sprawling Soviet-era underground maze. 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 to a “man-to-man fight” over Ukraine.

A shipment of terminals from Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service arrived in Ukraine in early March, to help bring internet connectivity to areas hit by the onslaught of the Russian army that invaded the country on February 24.



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