Russia: 1,730 Ukranian troops have surrendered in Mariupol

Russia: 1,730 Ukranian troops have surrendered in Mariupol

Russia’s defense ministry said Thursday hundreds more Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, bringing the total this week to 1,730.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement it was registering fighters who left Azovstal, an operation that began Tuesday and was continuing Thursday.

“The ICRC is not transporting POWs to the places where they are held,” the aid group said. “The registration process that the ICRC facilitated involves the individual filling out a form with personal details like name, date of birth and closest relative. This information allows the ICRC to track those who have been captured and help them keep in touch with their families.”

Ukrainian officials have not confirmed the Russian account of the number of Ukrainian fighters who have surrendered at the last holdout in Mariupol. Ukraine has expressed hopes that the soldiers can be part of a prisoner swap with Russia, while Russia’s main investigative body said it intends to interrogate them and determine if any were involved in crimes against civilians.

The capture of Mariupol, a prewar city of 430,000 people along the north coast of the Sea of Azov, would be Moscow’s biggest success in its nearly three-month offensive against Ukraine.

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