• Ukraine Azovstal resistance surrenders after running out of ammunition

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Friday the complete surrender of the Azovstal steelworks, a symbol of the

Ukrainian resistance

, with the delivery of the last 531 fighters.

Shoigu informed Russian President Vladimir Putin of

"the end of the operation and the complete liberation of the plant and the city of Mariupol

," the main Ukrainian port on the Sea of ​​Azov.

Among the last to surrender are the

commanders of the Ukrainian nationalist Azov battalion

, which Moscow considers "neo-Nazis" and "war criminals", according to General Igor Konashénkov, a military spokesman, in a statement.

He explained that the

commander of the Azov was evacuated in an armored car

.

Although he did not specify the name, it is understood that he was referring to

Denis Prokorenko

, who this morning in a video expressed his confidence that the defenders will be exchanged for

Russian

prisoners of war .

Instead, Russian politicians, including the president of the Duma, Viacheslav Volodin, have

advocated that they be tried on Russian territory

for their crimes in Donbas, in addition to the fact that Azov could be declared a terrorist organization in this country.

The Russian general did not specify the

fate of the fighters

either , although in previous days a part of the Azovstal defenders was transferred to Russian territory and another to the area controlled by the pro-Russian militias in the Donetsk region.

In total, 2,439 Ukrainian fighters

have surrendered since last Sunday

, mostly members of Azov, but also military.

"Today, May 20, the last group with 531 combatants surrendered," Konashenkov said.

This morning Shoigú had also reported the

evacuation of 177 civilians, including 85 women and 47 children

, who lived for several weeks in the catacombs of the metallurgical plant, where hundreds of wounded were entrenched.

On April 21, Putin canceled the order to storm Azovstal in order to save the lives of Russian troops and separatist militias who took Mariupol, although on the condition that "not a fly passes."

However, Ukraine denounced that

Russian forces continued to hammer

the plant until this week.

A few days ago, the Ukrainian president,

Volodymyr Zelensky, ordered the last defenders of Azovstal to surrender,

since "Ukraine needs its heroes alive".

Wives and relatives of the defenders of the steel mill had approached Pope Francis and the presidents of China and Turkey to mediate their release.

With the complete surrender of Mariupol, the victim of a

Russian siege whose brutality was denounced by human rights organizations

, the Russian forces will now be able to focus on conquering all of Donbas.

several thousand dead

According to various sources, more than half of the city's buildings have been destroyed, while the

death toll in the Mariupol siege could reach several thousand

.

Kiev accuses the Russian Army of trying to

erase all traces of the atrocities

committed by its soldiers in the city of almost half a million inhabitants.

The taking of Mariupol was marked in red by Russian generals since the beginning of the "special military operation", since it is the

key to opening a land corridor

with the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, a plan that Moscow is carrying out .

Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk intend to

destroy the historic plant

built by the Soviet authorities and currently owned by the richest man in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov.

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