Russia raises the military captured in Azovstal to almost 2,000

Images released by the Russian Government of the operations in Azovstal

Images released by the Russian Government of the operations in Azovstal – Europa Press/Contact/Cover Images

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Russian authorities have captured more than 1,900 Ukrainian fighters in the area of ​​the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, according to data released by Moscow, which has warned that the “blockade” of said facilities still “continues”.

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that his troops have “rescued” 177 civilians and captured 1,908 “nationalists” who “have laid down their arms,” ​​according to the TASS news agency. The figure is updated at the rate of several hundred daily, without independent verification.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) requested on Thursday “immediate” access to these prisoners, from whom it is also trying to collect data. The Ukrainian authorities, for their part, maintain their interest in carrying out a future prisoner exchange with the soldiers who are captured after leaving the steel mill.

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The Azovstal facilities have been in recent weeks the symbol of resistance in Mariupol, a town located on the shore of the Sea of ​​Azov and of special strategic interest to Russia, which is trying to consolidate a land corridor between Donbas and Crimea.

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