The Ukrainian troops and members of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, who had been holed up at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol for weeks, surrendered to Russian forces on orders from Kiev, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed.
“The guys had received a signal from the military that they have every right to come out and save their lives,” Zelensky told Ukraine 24 outlet on Friday.
Russia had announced the full liberation of Azovstal on the same day, saying more than 2,400 Ukrainian combatants, including their commanders, had surrendered during the week.
They laid down their arms without any preconditions following talks with the Russian forces, according to Moscow. Wounded fighters are being treated in hospital, while the rest have reportedly been taken to penitentiary facilities in the Donbass.