The last Ukrainian defenders of the port city of Mariupol were holed up in the Azovstal steel works. According to Russian information, almost 1,000 fighters have surrendered since the beginning of the week.

According to Russian sources, 959 Ukrainian fighters from the besieged Azovstal steelworks have surrendered in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol since the beginning of the week. According to the Interfax agency, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow announced on Wednesday that 80 of them were injured.

In the past 24 hours alone, almost 700 people have been taken into Russian captivity, it said. There was initially no confirmation of these figures from the Ukrainian side.

Like Moscow before it, Kyiv had spoken of a little more than 260 soldiers who had been evacuated from the factory premises. According to the information provided by both sides, more than 50 were injured among them. Ukraine hopes to be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war, but the Russian military initially left such a step open.

Different estimates of the number of fighters

How many fighters are currently still on the extensive factory premises was unclear. According to different estimates, there were between 1,000 and 2,500 before the evacuation mission began. The last civilians had already been brought to safety around a week and a half ago with international help.

Shortly after the war of aggression began, Russian troops had besieged Mariupol together with pro-Russian separatists in early March and had almost completely conquered it within a few weeks. The Ukrainian fighters at the Azovstal Steel Plant became the last defenders of the strategically important city on the Azov Sea.