Russia’s Defense Ministry says the last group of Ukrainian forces in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol has surrendered, marking the end of a week-long siege.
A video released by the ministry showed the fighters lining up to be searched by Russian troops in front of the steelworks. Many of the fighters were forced to put on their clothes so that Russian soldiers could check their tattoos.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the steelworks had been “completely released” following the blockade.
“The territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant has been completely liberated,” the ministry said in a statement. He also said that the group that surrendered consisted of 531 people.
A few hours before Russia’s announcement on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski said the latest steel defenders had been informed by the Ukrainian army that they could go out and save their lives.
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