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About a thousand surrendered at Azovstal. Peskov stressed that this is not a humanitarian operation.

© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS - Read TASS at - Yandex.News - Yandex.Zen

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS.RU/.

According to the head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, after the completion of the Russian military special operation, the plant is planned to be demolished.

Over the past two days, about a thousand Ukrainian soldiers and militants have left the territory of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. According to the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov, we are talking about surrender, and not about some kind of humanitarian operation, as they are trying to present in Kyiv.

Military operation in Ukraine.  Online

According to the head of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, later, after the completion of the Russian military special operation, the Azovstal plant is planned to be demolished, and another project, for example, a residential or park area, will be implemented on its territory.

On April 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to abandon the assault on the plant and block the enterprise "so that the fly does not fly." By that time, according to the Russian military, more than 2 thousand people remained at Azovstal - about a third of the city's original garrison.

TASS collected the main thing about the events around Azovstal on Wednesday.

Lay down their weapons

Over the past 24 hours, 694 militants who were blocked at the Azovstal plant, including 29 wounded, surrendered, Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said on Wednesday.ON THIS TOPIC

According to him, a total of 959 militants of the nationalist Azov unit and Ukrainian servicemen have surrendered since May 16. Among them are 80 wounded, of which 51 who needed inpatient treatment were taken to the Novoazovsk DPR hospital.

Among those who surrendered are several women, according to footage distributed by the Russian Defense Ministry. All those who surrender are searched by Russian servicemen, including cynologists with dogs. After that, the prisoners are sent to the buses, which follow the convoy, accompanied by the military police and BTR-82. The wounded, who were carried out on stretchers, are taken away by an ambulance.

According to the head of the DPR, among those who surrendered "at the moment, there are no commanders of the highest level, they did not come out."

International Tribunal

Answering questions about what is happening in Mariupol, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation emphasized: "Here the interpretation can only be unambiguous and the definition is unambiguous: those military men who took refuge on the territory of Azovstal lay down their arms and surrender." Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities tried to present the militants' exit from Azovstal as a humanitarian operation organized by Kyiv.ON THIS TOPIC

The Kremlin spokesman forwarded to the Defense Ministry the question of whether there were foreign officers and mercenaries among those who had surrendered.

At the same time, the head of the DPR said that the fate of the surrendered Ukrainian militants who were blocked at Azovstal should be decided by the court, and if we are talking about war criminals, then the tribunal, and it should be international.

According to the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, "in fact, the military can be exchanged, but those ideological Bandera followers must not be exchanged under any circumstances, they must be punished by law."

Resort city

Speaking about plans to restore Mariupol, the head of the DPR said that the plant was named after. Ilyich will be restored, but the Azovstal enterprise, which "polluted the environment from the moment it appeared," will be liquidated.

According to him, other projects are planned at this place - perhaps it will be a technopark site, a residential area, or a park area.

The authorities intend to turn Mariupol into a resort city. At the same time, according to the head of the DPR, over 60% of the housing stock in the city is subject to demolition, while the situation with communications "turned out to be not so sad."

The population of the liberated Mariupol, as Pushilin said, exceeds 200,000 people, and "now it is not possible to determine a more accurate figure."

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Ongoing Surrender "On Far Bigger Scale Than Kyiv Has Acknowledged" At Azovstal

Tyler Durden's Photo

ZeroHedge - BY TYLER DURDEN - THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2022 - 12:05 PM

Russia's defense ministry has now revised the numbers of Ukrainian fighters to have emerged from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol upward to more than 1,700 soldiers that have left the plant. A new Reuters headline has stressed that there's ongoing "silence from Kyiv" as the surrender is on a much larger than expected scale:

Moscow said on Thursday that 1,730 Ukrainian fighters had surrendered in Mariupol over three days, including 771 in the past 24 hours, claiming a surrender on a far bigger scale than Kyiv has acknowledged since ordering its garrison to stand down.
Red Cross staff in Mariupol on May 18, via AP.

Statements from early in the week by Ukrainian officials, including President Zelensky, attempted to downplay this as "surrender" - avoiding the word altogether and instead stressing the end of the "combat mission" and that its Azov fighters were "evacuated".

Russian-backed separatists in control of the area, Denis Pushilin, has recently said many of Azov's top commanders still remain inside the huge, cavernous steelworks facility.

Reuters observes, "The ultimate outcome of Europe’s bloodiest battle for decades remained publicly unresolved, with no confirmation of the fate of the hundreds of Ukrainian troops who had held out in a vast steelworks at the end of a near three-month siege."

"Ukraine, which says it aims to secure a prisoner swap, has declined to say how many were inside the plant or comment on the fate of the rest, since confirming that just over 250 had surrendered in the initial hours after it ordered them to yield," the report added.

Meanwhile, a report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) suggests that indeed the number of fighters which were hold up at the plant for months is likely significantly higher that what was known. The Red Cross has thus far registered "hundreds"...

On Tuesday the ICRC started "to register combatants leaving the Azovstal plant, including the wounded, at the request of the parties," it said in a statement from its headquarters in Geneva.

"The operation continued Wednesday and was still ongoing Thursday," it added.

It was previously reported that the wounded are being transported by the Russian military to one of its administered hospitals in the Donbas, some 40km away.

The Red Cross sought to stress that it is a neutral humanitarian organization which will monitor the transfer of the prisoners. "The ICRC is not transporting POWs to the places where they are held," an official statement said. "The registration process that the ICRC facilitated involves the individual filling out a form with personal details like name, date of birth and closest relative."

Footage showing Red Cross representative making contact with Ukrainian POWs...

"This information allows the ICRC to track those who have been captured and help them keep in touch with their families," it added. "In accordance with the mandate given to the ICRC by States under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the ICRC must have immediate access to all POWs in all places where they are held."


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