959 Ukrainian soldiers from Azovstal have surrendered since Monday, according to Russia
Eva Deschamps / May 18, 2022
The Russian Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that 959 Ukrainian military personnel, entrenched in the Azovstal steel site in Mariupol, have surrendered since Monday. Over the past 24 hours, 694 fighters, including 29 wounded, have constituted themselves prisoners. Since May 16, 959 fighters, including 80 wounded, have surrendered, the Russian ministry said in a statement.
According to the same source, 51 of them were hospitalized in Novoazovsk, a town controlled by the Russians and their separatist allies. The ministry gave no indication as to the fate of these prisoners, while the Russian authorities have repeatedly indicated that they do not consider at least some of them as soldiers but as neo-Nazi fighters.
The Ukrainian authorities want to organize an exchange of prisoners of war. These Ukrainian soldiers were entrenched in the underground galleries of the huge Azovstal steel plant, which has become an international symbol of resistance to the Russian offensive launched on February 24. The strategic port of Mariupol, where the industrial site is located, has been completely devastated by the fighting.