Russia shows video of Azovstal defenders surrendering

May 20 (Reuters) – Russia’s defence ministry on Friday said the last group of Ukrainian forces holed up in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel works had surrendered, marking an end to a weeks-long attack that left the city in ruins.

The full abandonment of the bunkers and tunnels of the bombed-out plant by the Azov Regiment means an end to the most destructive siege of a war that began when Russia invaded Ukraine nearly three months ago.

“The territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant… has been completely liberated,” the ministry said in a statement. It said the group that had surrendered comprised 531 people.

A defence ministry video purporting to show the surrender showed a line of unarmed men approaching Russian soldiers outside the plant and giving their names. The Russians then carefully searched each man and their possessions and also appeared to be asking the defenders to show their tattoos.

Moscow calls the Azov Regiment “Nazis”. The unit, formed in 2014 as a militia to fight Russian-backed separatists, denies being fascist, and Ukraine says it has been reformed from its radical nationalist origins.

“The underground facilities of the enterprise, where the militants were hiding, came under the full control of the Russian armed forces,” said the Russian statement, adding that a total of 2,439 defenders had surrendered in the past few days.

Source: Reuters