The Ukrainian military is taken out of the territory of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, Reuters , publishing photos of buses. The information is also confirmed by the General Staff of Ukraine.
A total of 264 servicemen left Azovstal, 53 of them were wounded, the General Staff reports. According to Reuters, the wounded were taken to the city of Novoazovsk. It is under the control of the Russian Federation. The Ministry of Defense of Russia also announced the removal of the wounded to Novoazovsk earlier.
The remaining 211 soldiers were evacuated through the humanitarian corridor to Yelenovka - also under the control of the self-proclaimed DNR.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy commented on the evacuation from Mariupol: “Thanks to the actions of the Ukrainian military — the Armed Forces of Ukraine, intelligence, as well as the negotiating group, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN — we hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys. I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle. I think that every adequate person will understand these words.
Whether the Ukrainian military is in captivity has not been officially announced. According to the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar, for their "further return home, an exchange procedure will be carried out."
Azov Commander Denis Prokopenko said that “to save lives, the entire Mariupol garrison is fulfilling the approved decision of the high military command and hopes for the support of the Ukrainian people.”
In turn, the Russian media, citing the Headquarters of the Territorial Defense of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), reported that more than 250 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered from the territory of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, including 51 wounded.
“In total, 256 Ukrainian militants surrendered from the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol. Among the prisoners, the number of wounded is 51 people, ”the headquarters’ telegram channel says. Currently, the wounded are receiving medical care, the headquarters added.
Press Secretary of Russian president Dmitry Peskov forwarded the question of the withdrawal of militants from Azovstal to the Ministry of Defense.
“I do not have detailed information about what is happening there. Still, we need to ask our military,” he said in an interview with reporters on Tuesday.
Peskov also forwarded to the Ministry of Defense the question of whether Moscow considers the Ukrainian army and national battalions who are on Azovstal and are going to surrender as prisoners of war or war criminals, and whether it will be ready to transfer them to Kyiv. “I will redirect you to our military,” he said.
The Kremlin spokesman recalled the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin that these people "will be treated in accordance with relevant international laws."