Drained, Exhausted, Defeated: Watch Fighters From Besieged Azovstal Surrender to Russian Forces

© Photo : Russian Ministry of DefenceColumn of Ukrainian troops marching out of Azovstal - the giant Mariupol metal and steelworks. Screengrab of Russian Defence Ministry video.
Column of Ukrainian troops marching out of Azovstal - the giant Mariupol metal and steelworks. Screengrab of Russian Defence Ministry video. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.05.2022
The battle for Azovstal made headlines around the world, with Kiev making multiple desperate, borderline suicidal attempts to evacuate Ukrainian Army and nationalist battalion fighters and foreign mercenaries from the besieged iron and steelworks aboard helicopters and even a tanker ship.
The Russian military has released footage showing the surrender of militants from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
The video shows a large group of fighters, many of them wounded and wearing bandages or using makeshift crutches to stand or move, approaching Russian forces along a road leading to the plant. Russian forces in their characteristic white armbands are seen frisking surrendered fighters, most of them men but also a few women, and going through their personal belongings in search of dangerous items.
Most of the militants were then placed aboard buses and escorted by a Russian military police unit and armoured personnel carrier out of the area. The heavily wounded were put in ambulances, and similarly evacuated.
Thousands of fighters, including crack troops from Ukraine’s 35th Marine Brigade, militants from the notorious neo-Nazi Azov Regiment, and foreign mercenaries, were trapped in Mariupol in early March as Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic forces encircled the Azov Sea-adjacent city and proceeded to close the noose. Heavy block-by-block fighting left large areas of the city destroyed, with Ukrainian forces retreating to Azovstal in late April, where they planned to make their last stand. Kiev made repeated attempts to try to get commanders and mercs out, but to no avail.
On Monday, Ukrainian authorities announced that the combat operation in Azovstal had come to an end, and that 264 fighters, including 53 seriously injured persons, had surrendered and been taken to areas controlled by Russian forces. The Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed that militants hiding at Azovstal had laid down their arms. On Wednesday, the MoD reported that a total of 959 militants, including 80 injured, surrendered to Russian forces over the past three days.
A destroyed house near the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.05.2022
LIVE UPDATES: Russian and Ukrainian Troops Agree to Pull Out Injured From Azovstal Plant, MoD Says
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