Russia says it has taken full control of Mariupol after the surrender of the last defenders

KYIV, Ukraine – Russia on Saturday said it had taken full control of the southeastern port city of Mariupol after surrender. The last remaining Ukrainian forces There, Moscow’s troops pressed on the offensive in the east of the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky described the soldiers and sailors who defended Mariupol during a month-long siege as national heroes. He said the military told them to get out and save lives.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said a final team of 531 Ukrainian fighters had been evacuated from bunkers under the sprawling Azovstal steel plant to Russian-controlled territory, bringing the total number of prisoners taken from the plant to 2,439.

“The underground facilities of the company where the militants were hiding came under the full control of the Russian Armed Forces,” the ministry said.

Members of the Ukrainian service who surrendered at Mariupol’s Azovstal plant were taken to another part of Donetsk on Friday.


Photo:

Alexander Ermoshenko / Reuters

The capture of Mariupol is a long-awaited victory for Russia, which has faced fierce opposition and is fighting against Ukraine’s armed forces. Began its invasion On February 24th.

By always waiting for weeks in small bags, the Ukrainian guards tied up a large number of Russian troops and prevented them from being sent elsewhere.

By the time they surrendered, the opposition at the Azovstel plant was more of a symbol of strategic importance. For weeks, Russian forces have been controlling the land route that connects the Crimean Peninsula to the eastern Donbass region, which Russia annexed in 2014. Control area since 2014.

The Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency on Saturday released video reports from Russian-controlled supermarkets in the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia region and the city of Kherson in southeastern Ukraine.

On Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had registered hundreds of Ukrainian prisoners of war from the Azovstale plant. The group is meeting prisoners of war from all walks of life.

Much of the Mariupol area collapsed after several months of bombing.


Photo:

Alexander Ermoshenko / Reuters

Emergency workers carry the body of a man killed during a fight in Mariupol.


Photo:

Alexander Ermoshenko / Reuters

The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on Saturday that Leonid Slutsky, chair of the International Affairs Committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, said a tribunal should decide the fate of Mariupol militants and that there should be no transfer of prisoners.

Earlier in the day, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that Moscow was examining the possibility of transferring Mariupol militants to detainee Viktor Medvetsk, a Ukrainian ally of the Russian president. Slutsky said. Vladimir Putin.

In the Donbas, Russian forces launched a major offensive on Saturday The rest is Ukrainian territory In the eastern province of Luhansk, Ukrainian officials said.

The renewed offensive in Chevroletonetsk aims to expand the territory already under the control of the Russian-backed separatist government that calls itself the Luhansk People’s Republic.

Authorities say Russian forces have maintained a control line east of the Inhulets River following attempts to destroy a bridge to prevent Ukrainian advances.

The conquest of the provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, most of which would create the industrial Donbass region of Ukraine, would allow Moscow to win. Announced last month This was its purpose now.

He is a member of Russia’s negotiating team for peace talks with Ukraine. Slutsky said he expected the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, like Crimea, to determine their political future. In the coming months, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.

Russia annexes Crimea in a referendum invalidated by the United Nations. Before sending Russian troops into Ukraine in February, Mr. Putin recognized the Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this week in his Kiev office, Maj. Gen. Girillo Budanov, one of the architects of Ukraine’s war effort, said Ukraine urgently needed medium- and long-range missile systems and large-scale artillery. And attack aircraft to offset Russia’s benefits in manpower and equipment.

General Budanov Ukraine said it would continue to fight Until the withdrawal of Russian forces from all its parts.

Commenting on the year Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union, General Budanov said, “I know no borders except the borders of 1991.” “Who can force Ukraine to end the conflict? This is the war of all Ukrainians, and if anyone in the world thinks that Ukraine can dictate the conditions under which it can defend or defend itself, they are seriously mistaken.

In the northeast, the governor of the Kharkiv region of Ukraine said Russian forces were continuing to fire on the cities of Oleksiyivka and Saltivka, and a market in Kharkiv was set on fire by missile strikes.

Ole Sinekubov said in his official telegram channel that 90% of the houses in the village of Vilkivka were destroyed by the Russian bombing in the Kharkiv region.

Mr. Zelensky on Friday condemned the airstrikes on a cultural center in the Kharkiv region, describing the attack as “absolute evil, utter nonsense”. 7 people were injured in this fight.

Ruska is a Ukrainian servant in a village in the Kharkiv region of Losova. Despite recent victories for Ukraine, the region is still under attack.


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Petition for The Wall Street Journal

Meanwhile, the first test on a Russian soldier was underway in Kiev, Ukraine. Mr. Zhelensky said on his official telegram channel that Ukraine would “find and bring to justice those who issue and execute criminal orders.”

Ukraine is set to receive another installment of aid from the United States after President Biden on Saturday Signed a package of nearly $ 40 billion Financial and military support. Law, The Senate approved it on ThursdayIncludes arrangements for equipment and training for Ukrainian forces, humanitarian assistance for refugees and economic assistance to the Government of Ukraine.

In Russia, Roskosmos, head of Russia’s space agency, said in the fall that Russia would begin delivering new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles to the Armed Forces. Russia says the missile can hit targets anywhere in the world.

Mr. When Putin oversaw its first test launch last month, he said it would make those who threaten his country “think twice.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday released a list of 963 U.S. citizens who have been permanently banned from entering the country for “inciting Russophobia.” The list includes Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and dozens of key officials and business leaders who have already banned Russia from entering a country like President Biden’s.

Write to Vivian Salama on [email protected] and Ivan Kershkovich on [email protected]

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