‘Please don’t let our husbands die’: Tearful Ukrainian soldiers’ wives beg pope

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The wives of two of the last remaining Ukrainian fighters holed up in Mariupol‘s steelworks have tearfully pleaded with Pope Francis to help rescue their husbands.

Kateryna Prokopenko, 27, and Yuliya Fedosiuk, 29, told the Catholic leader he was their ‘last hope’, begging him: ‘Please don’t let them die.’

Denis Prokopenko is Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard of Ukraine and a commander in the Azov Regiment, while Arseniy Fedosiuk is an Azov sergeant.

Their wives spoke to the Pope for five minutes at the end of his general audience in St. Peter’s Square today.

They also asked him to intervene directly with Vladimir Putin to let them go because ‘Russian captivity is not an option’.

‘You are our last hope, I hope you can save their lives, please don’t let them die,’ Prokopenko could be heard telling the pope on a video released by the Vatican.

The women told reporters afterward that they described to the pope scenes of injured soldiers, rotting flesh, unburied bodies, and lack of food, water, and medicine at the steelworks.

They said they last spoke to their husbands on Tuesday.

‘Our soldiers are waiting to be evacuated to a third country, to lay down their arms in case of evacuation,’ Fedosiuk said.

‘They will not go to Russian captivity because they will be tortured and killed,’ Fedusiuk told Francis, according to a video of the encounter shot by another member of their entourage, Pyotr Verzilov, a prominent member of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot who is working on a documentary about Ukraine.

The pope said he would do everything possible and would pray for them.

Daily Mail