Russia Ukraine conflict

Ukraine says Azovstal combat mission fulfilled, more than 260 soldiers evacuated

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Ukraine’s officials said on Tuesday that the servicemen defending the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol have fulfilled their combat mission and more than 260 soldiers have been evacuated.

“The supreme military command ordered the commanders of the units stationed at Azovstal to save the lives of the personnel. Efforts to rescue defenders who remain on the territory of Azovstal continue,” the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in a statement on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said that more than 260 Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from the plant.

“53 heavily wounded [soldiers] were evacuated from Azovstal to the medical mortgage near Novoazovsk for medical aid,” Malyar said, adding that another 211 were taken out through the humanitarian corridor.

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She said that missions are underway to rescue the remaining servicemen inside the plant.

“Thanks to the defenders of Mariupol, Ukraine gained critically important time. And they fulfilled all their tasks. But it is impossible to unblock Azovstal by military means,” she added.

The Azovstal steel plant has become a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance against Russia’s invasion.

Earlier on Monday, Russia said an agreement has been reached to evacuate wounded soldiers from the Azovstal plant.

The Azov regiment – a far-right militia now part of Ukraine's National Guard present in Mariupol – announced that: “In order to save lives, the entire Mariupol garrison is implementing the approved decision of the Supreme Military Command and hopes for the support of the Ukrainian people,” Ukrinform news agency cited the statement as saying.

“The defenders of Mariupol fulfilled the order, despite all the difficulties, and distracted the overwhelming forces of the enemy for 82 days,” the statement added.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he hoped the lives of the servicemen defending the Azovstal plant will be saved.

“We hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys. There are severely wounded ones among them. They're receiving care. Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.

Read more:

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Ceasefire reached to evacuate wounded from Azovstal plant in Ukraine’s Mariupol

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