Women and children purportedly sheltering in basement of Azovstal steel plant in besieged Mariupol, video shows

New video images of women and children, purportedly sheltering in the basement of the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, were published Monday evening on Telegram. 

The video was posted by the Azov Battalion, a unit that began as an ultra-nationalist militia but has since integrated into the Ukrainian armed forces. The video was later shared by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It appears to show dozens of children and families who have been sheltering for weeks in the basement of the plant where Ukrainian forces are holding out against Russian attacks.

CNN cannot verify the authenticity of the video, or when it was taken. However, after reviewing thousands of photos and videos of the Azovstal steel plant, the walls of the shelter appear to match the lime-green painted walls of the steel plant’s basements.

Some context: Commander of the Azov Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko, in Mariupol said in a video posted Monday on Telegram that Russian forces have been firing “willingly” on the Azovstal steelworks factory, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering alongside Ukrainian forces.

Prokopenko said that among those sheltering are, “people of all ages, women, children, and families of Mariupol defenders. They are sheltering in the basements and bunkers from the ‘Russian world’.” 

Myhailo Vershynin, the chief of the Mariupol Patrol Police, also told CNN that women, children and the elderly were among those sheltering inside the steel plant.

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