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Russia-Ukraine War: The fate of 2,500 Ukrainian fighters being taken prisoner from a steel factory raises concerns

Ukraine, Pokrovsk-Russia claimed to have captured about 2,500 Ukrainian fighters from the besieged Mariupol ironworks and vowed that Moscow-backed separatist leaders would face court. Concerns about fate have increased.

Russia has declared full control of the Azovstal ironworks. This was the last holdout in Mariupol’s and a symbol of Ukraine’s tenacity in a strategic port city, which now threatens to kill more than 20,000 inhabitants. The seizures give Russian President Vladimir Putin the terrible victory he had hoped for in the war he started almost three months ago.

Polish President Andrzej Duda will arrive in Ukraine without notice and will address the parliament on Sunday as the West gathers behind Ukraine, his office said.

Having welcomed millions of Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of the war, Poland strongly supports Ukraine’s desire to join the European Union. As Russia blocked Ukraine’s seaports, Poland became the main gateway for western humanitarian aid and weapons to enter Ukraine, helping Ukraine bring its grains and other agricultural products to the world market.

The Russian Defense Ministry has released a video of Ukrainian soldiers in custody after announcing that its troops have removed the last holdout from a vast underground tunnel at the Mariupol factory. A total of 2,439 people have surrendered.

Family of fighters from various troops and law enforcement agencies were given prisoner-of-war rights and eventually asked them to return to Ukraine. Deputy Prime Minister Irina Bereshchuk said on Saturday that Ukraine would “fight for the return” of all of them.

Denis Pushilin, the pro-Kremlin chief of the Moscow-backed separatist region of eastern Ukraine, did not provide details, but the captured fighters include foreigners. Said. He said they were certain to face the court. Russian officials and state media have sought to characterize fighters as neo-Nazis and criminals.

“I believe that justice must be restored. This is a request from the general public, society, and perhaps a healthy part of world society,” Russia’s national news agency Tas quotes Psylin. bottom.

Among the defenders were members of the Azov Battalion, whose far-right origin was seized by the Kremlin as part of an effort to throw an invasion as a battle against the Nazi influence in Ukraine.

Leonid Slatsky, a prominent member of the Russian parliament, said Moscow could exchange Azovstari fighters with Victor Medvedchuk, a wealthy Ukrainian with close ties to Putin facing criminal charges in Ukraine. He said he was studying sex. Sultsky later withdrew their remarks, saying he agreed with Psylin that their fate should be decided by the courts.

The Ukrainian government has not commented on Russia’s allegations of capturing Azovstal. Ukrainian troops have told fighters that their mission has been completed and they can come out. It described their withdrawal as evacuation rather than mass surrender.

The occupation of Mariupol facilitates Russia’s quest to build an overpass that extends from Russia through the Donbus region to the Crimean Peninsula. The Crimean Peninsula was seized by Moscow from Ukraine in 2014.

The impact on the wider war was still unknown. Many Russian troops had already been relocated from Mariupol to other parts of the conflict.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday that Russia has a special operations base in Ukraine near Odesa, Ukraine’s main black sea port, and an important cash of weapons supplied from the west in the Zhytomyr region in northern Ukraine. Reported that it was destroyed. There was no confirmation from the Ukrainian side.

Ukrainian troops reported fierce fighting in many of the Donbus in eastern Ukraine.

“The situation in Donbus is very difficult,” President Volodymyr Zelensky told the country in a nightly video speech. “Like the day before, Russian troops are trying to attack Slovyansk and Sieviero Donetsk,” he said, saying that Ukrainian troops are blocking the attacks “every day.”

Sieviero Donetsk is a major city under the control of Ukraine in the Luhansk region, which together with the Donetsk region constitutes Donbus. Governor Serhii Haidai said the city’s only functioning hospital had only three doctors and supplies in 10 days.

On Sunday, the UK Department of Defense said Russia’s only BMP-T Terminator tank support vehicle operator designed to protect main battle tanks was “probably deployed on the Donbass offensive Sieviero Donetsk axis.” Said. However, since up to 10 vehicles are deployed, “it is unlikely that it will have a significant impact on the campaign.”

Slovyansk in the Donetsk region is important for Russia’s purpose of occupying the entire eastern part of Ukraine and saw fierce fighting last month after Moscow’s troops withdrew from Kyiv. According to the governor, a Russian bombardment on Saturday killed seven civilians and injured another 10 elsewhere in the region.

The monastery in the village of Donetsk, Bohorodichne, was evacuated after being hit by a Russian airstrike, local police said on Saturday. About 100 monks, nuns and children were looking for a safe haven in the basement of the church, but none were injured. Boarding van for evacuation on Friday.

Zelensky on Saturday emphasized that Zelensky was part of Ukraine and his troops were fighting to release it.

At a joint press conference with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, he requested the Western countries for a multiple launch rocket system. He said that in other countries “just stop” is the key to Ukraine’s success.

Portugal and Poland, who stopped by for negotiations before Costa went to Kyiv, favored bringing Ukraine to the European Union quickly, even if other EU member states hesitated to allow quick access. doing.

US President Joe Biden approved the injection of new $ 40 billion in aid to Ukraine on Saturday, half of which was military aid. Portugal has promised up to 250 million euros and continued to ship military equipment.

Mariupol, part of Donbus, is a horrifying example for people elsewhere in the country of hunger, horror, and death that could be faced if Russians were blocked early in the war and surrounded their communities. have become.

The seaside steelworks, which occupy about 11 square kilometers (4 square miles), have been a battlefield for weeks. With the help of Airdrop, Zelensky said that Zelensky had sacrificed the lives of many “absolutely heroic” helicopter pilots by catching Russian airstrikes, cannons and tanks. The declining group held up.

On Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a video of Russian troops detaining Serhiy Volynskyy, commander of the 36th Special Navy Brigade of the Ukrainian Navy. The Associated Press was unable to independently verify the date, location, and status of the video.

As Russia controls the city, Ukrainian authorities may delay documenting evidence of Russia’s atrocities in Mariupol, including the bombing of maternity hospitals and theaters concealed by hundreds of civilians. Satellite images in April showed what appeared to be a mass grave just outside Mariupol. Local officials have accused Russia of burying up to 9,000 civilians and concealing the slaughter.

An estimated 100,000 of the 450,000 people who lived in Mariupol before the war remain. Many people involved in the Russian siege lost food, water and electricity.

Ukrainian Mayor Mariupol warned on Saturday that he was facing a health and hygiene “catastrophe” due to massive burials in shallow holes in abandoned cities and sewerage failures. Vadim Boychenko said summer rains could contaminate water sources as they pressured Russian troops to allow residents to leave the city safely.

“In addition to the humanitarian catastrophe caused by (Russian) occupiers and collaborators, the city is on the verge of developing an infectious disease,” he said in the messaging app Telegram.


McKillan reported from Lviv. Stashevskyi reported from Kyiv. Associated Press journalists Yuras Karmanau from Lviv, Andrea Rosa from Kharkiv, Frances D’Emilio from Rome, and other AP staff from around the world contributed.

Copyright © 2022 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

Russia-Ukraine War: The fate of 2,500 Ukrainian fighters being taken prisoner from a steel factory raises concerns

Source link Russia-Ukraine War: The fate of 2,500 Ukrainian fighters being taken prisoner from a steel factory raises concerns

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