The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday that 959 Ukrainian soldiers, holed up on the Azovstal steel site in Mariupol, have surrendered since Monday.
“During the last 24 hours, 694 fighters, including 29 wounded, have surrendered. Since May 16, 959 fighters, including 80 wounded, have become prisoners,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to the same source, 51 of them were hospitalized in Novoazovsk, a locality under the control of the Russians and their separatist allies.
The Ukrainian authorities want to organize an exchange of prisoners of war.
These Ukrainian soldiers were entrenched in the underground galleries of the huge Azovstal steelworks, becoming an international symbol of resistance to the Russian offensive launched on February 24.
The strategic port of Mariupol where the industrial site is located was completely ravaged by the fighting.