According to the ministry, a ceasefire has been established on the territory of the company and a humanitarian corridor has been opened for transporting wounded Ukrainian soldiers to a medical facility in Novoazovsk, in the “Donetsk People’s Republic”, where they will receive all necessary aid.
Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok subdivisions in the separatist Donetsk region, wrote in a telegram Monday morning that ten Ukrainian soldiers walked out of the Mariupol Azov steelworks with a white flag. According to later news, Khodakovsky reported the arrival of nine fighters who did not come to surrender but to discuss the evacuation of the wounded. The parties determined the path for the evacuation of the wounded, and, according to the Donetsk commander, the Ukrainians began to remove the barriers at the plant site.
Nikolai Bashurin, deputy commander of the Donetsk “People’s Militia”, said in a press release about the announcement that official information about who and under what conditions surrendered will be provided later in order to make the special operation a success.
Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk said that there are more than a thousand soldiers in the Azov region, among them hundreds of wounded. He said many of them need urgent evacuation and medical care.
On May 7, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that civilians trapped in the steel plant had been evacuated from the steelworks area.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Soigo first announced the “liberation” of the Azov sea port city on April 21, adding that the steel plant would take another three to four days to run. Then President Putin, for “humanitarian reasons”, ordered the closure of the steel plant instead of a blockade. The 11-kilometre facility in Azovstall has a seven-level underground tunnel system.
Cover photo: Maxym Marusenko / NurPhoto via Getty Images