Azovstal soldiers evacuated to Moscow-controlled territory

The battle of Azovstal ends. This sprawling industrial complex of 11 km2 It was the last Ukrainian stronghold of Mariupol, 90% destroyed and which the Russians want to occupy to establish territorial contiguity between Donbass and Crimea, which was annexed in 2014. For weeks, a thousand soldiers resisted within its walls, a labyrinth of underground galleries dating back to the Soviet era. . They were surrounded, bombarded day and night, withstood in unimaginable circumstances. Nearly 700 wounded.

The Ukrainian authorities have been negotiating for several weeks to reach an agreement to rescue them. It is now in progress. On Monday, May 16th, they announced the end of the combat operations of the soldiers holed up in the factory and the evacuation of 264 of them, including dozens of wounded. On May 16, 53 seriously injured people were evacuated from Azovstal to Novoazovsk to receive medical assistance, and 211 others were transferred to Olenivka via a humanitarian corridor.This was announced by Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Jana Maliar. These two regions are located on the territory controlled by Russian and pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, butme Maliar explained that the fighters should be returned in the future to the territories controlled by Ukraine, As part of an exchange With Russian prisoners. Russian media, RT, showed a video clip of dozens of buses leaving the factory.

Read also: With the Azov regiment at the Azovstal plant

The Ukrainian General Staff confirmed the evacuation and indicated it Rescue activities for the defenders who remained in the Azovstal lands are continuing.without specifying the number of soldiers who remained at the site. “The defenders of Mariupol are the heroes of our time. They are forever in history “, he added. According to him, their fierce struggle was especially Preventing the implementation of a plan [russe] For the quick capture of Zaporizhia”a major Ukrainian city and administrative center located more than 200 km to the west.

An apparent Russian victory

President Volodymyr Zelensky also praised the defenders of Azovstal, and justified the evacuation on the territory controlled by Moscow. We hope to save our children’s lives. I want to emphasize this: Ukraine needs its living heroes. This is our principle. I think everyone will understand. » This apparent Russian victory at Azovstal comes two weeks after the evacuation of civilians who had taken refuge in the factory since the Russian offensive began on February 24 – most of them relatives of factory workers. They were evacuated at the beginning of May during a difficult humanitarian operation by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Will Russia keep its promise to allow the return of Azovstal soldiers to the territory controlled by Ukraine? In the eyes of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Azov Battalion, an ultra-nationalist battalion that was integrated into the regular army in 2014 after the start of the war in the Donbass, is the embodiment of “Nazism” Who says he wants to liberate the country from him.

You have 69.98% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment