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Mariupol’s defenders surrender to Russia, but their fate is uncertain

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Mariupol — More than 250 Ukrainian fighters surrender to Russian troops at the Azovstal Ironworks in Mariupol after weeks of desperate resistance, ending the most devastating siege of the Russian war in Ukraine. Allowed President Vladimir Putin to claim a rare victory in his debilitating campaign.

Even when the Kremlin is preparing to completely control the ruins of Mariupol, its badly beaten army lacks personnel for significant progress and will conquer all of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas. Some analysts in the Russian campaign said the prospect of defeat in the bid is rising.

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Reuters reported that the bus left the steelworks late Monday in a convoy escorted by Russian armored vehicles. The five arrived in the Russian-owned town of Novaazovsk, where Moscow said the injured would be treated.

It was unclear what would happen to the fighter. The Kremlin said Putin personally guaranteed that prisoners of war would be treated according to international standards, and Ukrainian authorities said they could be exchanged for Russian prisoners.

Reuters witnesses said seven buses carrying Ukrainian fighters from the Azofustari garrison arrived at a newly reopened prison in the Russian-controlled town of Olenifka near Donetsk.

TASS news outlets say the Russian Commission plans to ask soldiers, many of them members of the Azov Battalion, as part of an investigation into what Moscow calls a “Ukrainian government crime.” Stated.

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The condemnation of the battle, which has become a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance, allows Moscow to completely control the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov and the uninterrupted expanse of eastern and southern Ukraine.

On the international side, Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson said Wednesday that he would abandon Putin’s long-standing neutral policy of concern over concerns and submit their respective applications to join NATO.

Their move will bring about the very expansion of Putin’s Western Union, which he called as one of the main justifications for what he calls his “special military operation.”

Prisoner exchange?

The complete occupation of Mariupol is Russia’s greatest victory since the invasion on February 24th. But the harbor is in ruins, and Ukraine believes that months of Russian bombardment killed tens of thousands of people.

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Russia said at least 256 Ukrainian fighters, including 51 seriously injured, “surrendered with weapons.” Ukraine said 264 soldiers, including 53 injured, have left.

A video from the Russian Defense Ministry showed that fighters were leaving the factory, some were carried on stretchers, and others were raising their hands to be searched by Russian troops.

Both sides talked about the arrangement that all Ukrainian troops abandon the steelworks, but many details are still available, such as the number of fighters still inside and whether some form of prisoner exchange has been agreed. It was not published.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hannah Mariyar said in a briefing that Kieu would not reveal the number of fighters remaining inside until everyone was safe. Ukrainian troops said Azofustari’s troops had completed their combat missions.

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Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irina Bereshchuk said Kyiv aims to arrange prisoner exchange once the injured’s condition stabilizes, but neither side has disclosed specific terms of the deal.

A prominent Russian lawmaker opposed the prisoner exchange. “Nazi criminals should not be exchanged,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the House of Representatives in Russia.

Leonid Slatsky, one of Russia’s negotiators with Ukraine, called the evacuated fighters “human-shaped animals” and said they should be executed.

Natalia, the wife of a sailor trapped in the factory, told Reuters that she “wants to have an honest relationship.” But she was still worried. She said, “What Russia is doing now is inhumane.”

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The United Nations and the Red Cross have stated that the true death toll from the siege of Mariupol has not yet been counted, but it is arguably the worst in Europe since the war in the 1990s between Chechnya and the Balkans.

For months, the inhabitants were driven into the basement under constant bombardment, with no access to food, freshwater, or heat, and their bodies scattered in the streets.

Two strikes in the maternity ward and in the theater where hundreds of people were evacuated became a global symbol of Russia’s tactics of destroying densely populated areas.

Thousands of civilians are believed to have been buried in mass graves and temporary pits in the garden, and Moscow states that Moscow has deported thousands of residents to Russia.

Moscow denies targeting civilians and deporting them.

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Ukrainian progress

Elsewhere, Ukrainian troops are advancing at the fastest pace for over a month, expelling Russian troops from the area around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.

Ukraine states that its troops have reached the Russian border 40 km (25 miles) north of Kharkiv. They can also push to the Siverskyi Donets, at least 40 km east, where they could threaten the supply line to the major advance of the Siverskyi Donets in Russia.

Russia, despite suffering great losses, is still pressing for progress.

Also on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on the phone, French weapons delivery to Ukraine will intensify in the coming days, and France is ready to respond to additional requests for assistance. I told him it was done.

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The US Senate is approaching the promotion of a $ 40 billion aid package for Ukraine, including billions of dollars for new weapons. The final vote for the package will be available later this week.

According to analysts, Putin will send more troops and hardware to replace the dramatically weakened invaders as the influx of modern Western weapons strengthens Ukraine’s combat power. May need to be decided.

“Time is definitely working against Russians. They are running out of equipment. They are running out of particularly advanced missiles. And of course, Ukrainians are getting stronger almost every day,” said RUSI in London. Neil Melvin, a think tank, said.

(Report by Natalia Zinets of Kieu and Reuters journalist of Mariupol; Additional report by Reutersbureaux; Written by Peter Graff, Angus MacSwan, Rami Ayyub, Edited by Nick Macfie, Frank Jack Daniel, Grant McCool)


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Mariupol’s defenders surrender to Russia, but their fate is uncertain

Source link Mariupol’s defenders surrender to Russia, but their fate is uncertain

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