Rescuers inspect destroyed Mariupol buildings

STORY: Rescue workers - identified on their uniforms as from the Emergencies Ministry of the Russia-backed self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic - could be seen using a hydraulic platform to check a severely-damaged apartment block.

Mariupol has seen some of the worst fighting in what Russia calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine, with much of the city in ruins after weeks of shelling.

Explosions were still audible on Thursday at the nearby Azovstal steelworks.

Relatives and supporters of Ukrainian fighters in the steel plant on Thursday called for fresh efforts to save them as Kyiv said new talks were underway with Moscow on a plan to rescue badly wounded servicemen.

Russian forces have been bombarding Azovstal, the last bastion of Ukrainian defenders in a city almost completely controlled by Russia after more than two months of a siege.

Civilians had been trapped at the plant and Kyiv says they have all been evacuated. But there is no deal on allowing out hundreds of fighters, some of whom are wounded.

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