The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has begun registering hundreds of prisoners of war (POWs) from the besieged Azovstal steel works in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, it said on Thursday.
The ICRC said in a statement that the operation to track fighters leaving the plant, including the wounded, began on Tuesday and was ongoing as of Thursday.
As part of the process, the ICRC records information from the individuals to keep track of those who have been captured.
It added that it is not transporting the POWs to the places where they are held.
Russia’s defense ministry said Thursday that 1,730 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered this week at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol.
“Over the past 24 hours, 771 militants of the Azov nationalist regiment surrendered,” the ministry said in its daily briefing on the conflict.
“In total, since May 16, 1,730 militants have surrendered, including 80 wounded,” it added.
The ministry released a video appearing to show the surrendered soldiers walking out of the plant, some visibly wounded and others using crutches.
Russian soldiers patted them down and inspected their bags as they exited.
The ministry said the injured soldiers were taken to a hospital in Russia-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine has indicated that it will seek a prisoner swap for fighters who surrendered at Azovstal, but Moscow has yet to give a definitive answer on the issue.