Russia says over 1,000 Ukrainian marines surrender in Mariupol -Breaking
© Reuters. Soldiers from pro-Russian units load rocket-propelled guns into an infantry fighting vehicle in Ukraine-Russia conflict. This was near the Azovstal iron and steel Works Company in Mariupol (Ukraine April 12, 2018).
(Reuters) –Russian defense ministry announced Wednesday that 1 026 soldiers from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade and 162 officers surrendered at the port of Mariupol.
Mariupol, that has been invading Russian troops for several weeks, has witnessed the most intense fighting and extensive destruction since Russia invaded it on February 24, 2014.
Moscow considers the main Sea of Azov port the most important target in eastern Donbas. If captured, it would mark the beginning of the fall of major cities since the start of the conflict. This capture could secure land access between the separatist-held areas of eastern Russia and Crimea that Russia annexed in 2014.
The ministry released a statement saying that 1,026 Ukrainian soldiers from the 36th Marine Brigade surrendered and gave up their arms in the city of Mariupol.
Reuters was unable to confirm the surrender. Oleksandr Motuzyanyk from Ukraine’s defence ministry stated that he didn’t have any details and the Ukrainian president had not yet commented.
A post by the Ukrainian Marine Brigade’s Facebook page (NASDAQ::) on Monday stated that the unit was in preparation for the final battle at Mariupol, which would see death or capture of its troops as they ran out ammunition.
The post stated that today will likely be the final battle as there are no more ammo. Hand to hand combat is the next step. “Above that: for some death, or for other capture.
At the time, some Ukrainian officials stated that it was possible that the site had been fabricated and that troops still held out.
According to Russian Defence Ministry, the wounded Ukrainian soldiers were immediately treated and transported to Mariupol’s municipal hospital.
On Wednesday, Ramzan Kadyrov (Chech leader) stated that his troops are playing an important role in Russia’s Battle for Mariupol. He also said that more than 1000 Ukrainian marines have surrendered. He called on the remaining troops huddled in the Azovstal metal mill to surrender.
Reuters reporters who were accompanying Russian-backed separatists to Mariupol Tuesday witnessed flames rise from the Azovstal complex.