A Ukrainian commander in Mariupol appealed directly to Elon Musk on Wednesday, asking the world’s richest man to intervene on behalf of those besieged by Russian forces controlling the southern city.
The strategic port has been devastated by the three-month-old war, as Ukrainians struggle with pockets of resistance from inside Azovstal’s steel mills after weeks of bloody battle.
Serhii Volina, commander of the 36th Marine Separate Brigade, said he created a Twitter account for the sole purpose of communicating with Musk.
“People say you came from another planet to teach people to believe in the impossible,” Volina wrote on Twitter.
“Our planets are next to each other, where I live where it is almost impossible to survive. Help us get out of Azovstal into a middle country. If not you, who?”
He called on “everyone on the planet” to help make sure Musk sees his allure.
Earlier this week, Kyiv said more than 1,000 of its soldiers, many of them wounded, remained at the sprawling Azovstal factory, hiding in a maze of Soviet-era bunkers and tunnels from the Russians who now control Mariupol.
Women, children and the elderly were evacuated from the besieged site as part of a humanitarian mission coordinated by the United Nations and the Red Cross.
Twitter, which Musk is seeking to buy in a $44 billion deal, has seen a surge of users due to the war in Ukraine, as people use the social networking service to find news and support, according to the company.
Musk, who has more than 92 million followers, had previously used the platform to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin to a “one-to-one fight” over Ukraine.
Last month, the South African-born chief of Tesla responded to a Ukrainian plea for internet by activating its Starlink satellite broadband service and sending equipment to help deliver connectivity to areas that have come under Russian military attacks.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is published from a syndicated feed.)