Singer Ruslana asks for help from Turkey for Ukrainian fighters

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Ruslana, Ukrainian singer and former Eurovision Song Contest winner, speaks during a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, May 16, 2022. Ruslana called on the Turkish President on Monday to save Ukrainian fighters from the besieged city of Mariupol in the midst of the Russian War. (AP Photo/Mucahid Yapici)

PA

A Ukrainian singer and former Eurovision Song Contest winner on Monday called on the Turkish president to rescue Ukrainian fighters from the besieged city of Mariupol in the midst of war with Russia.

Ruslana, whose song “Wild Dances” catapulted her to number one in the music competition in 2004, spoke at a press conference in Istanbul. She was flanked by the mothers and wives of the “defenders of Mariupol” – Ukrainian fighters who defend the city’s steelworks.

“Let’s stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Let’s unite for Ukraine. Help Mariupol. Help Azovstal. Help our brave Ukrainian soldiers,” she said. “I sincerely believe that today the Turkish President, the President Erdogan, who has an international role and presence, will help our citizens in need.”

It is estimated that several hundred Ukrainian fighters are holed up in the vast Azovstal steelworks, the last pocket of resistance in a city that has been largely reduced to rubble in the past two months.

Ruslana’s comments came as Europe sought to toughen its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Sweden joining Finland in deciding to seek NATO membership and officials in the European Union trying to save the proposed sanctions against Russian oil.

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Follow AP coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Sharon P. Juarez