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First Batch of Azov Battalion Fighters Surrender at the Azovstal Plant in Mariupol


According Alexander Khodakovsky, the founder of the Vostok Battalion (DPR), 9 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol.

“Now a lively stage of negotiations is underway. It was just the first group leaving. As it turned out, the group left, representing the interests of a larger group that continues to be at Azovstal,” Khodakovsky said on the air of the 60 Minutes program on the Rossiya 1 TV channel.

Earlier this morning, Russian authorities agreed to evacuate wounded Ukrainian troops from Mariupol steelworks, and ordered that soldiers were to be taken to hospital in a DPR or Russian-controlled town, making them prisoners of war.

In addition to the initial 9 men waving the white flag, the first batch of 51 wounded Ukrainian soldiers from Azovstal compound have been brought to the surface and through the evacuation corridor exiting Azovstal, with both buses and ambulances waiting to ferry them to be processed in the DPR. The process is said to be slow, as men are being carried through ruined grounds on stretchers, and care is being taken to avoid any security problems.

This is how the corridor near Azovstal looks like, as wounded Ukrainian servicemen are moved to buses and ambulances that are waiting for them:

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In recent days, the stranded militants were said to be running low on food and water, with the wounded men suffering from not getting access to treatment. Previously, they stated they would do anything to avoid capture and become POWs, and had vowed to “never surrender” to the Russian and DPR forces, but rather bizarrely, they still campaigned internationally for someone to come forward and help broker their rescue to some ‘third party’ country.

Still, it is believed that some 1,000 Ukrainian troops remain in the tunnels underneath the gigantic steelworks complex, as soldiers, some of whom are members of the Nazi Azov battalion, have resisted Russian military operations, and numerous attempts to storm their underground hideout.

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