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Ukraine says rescue is underway at Mariupol’s Azovstal ironworks

Ukraine confirmed that operations are underway to rescue troops (mostly injured) from Mariupol’s Azovstal ironworks after nearly three months of violent bombing that smashed a strategic port city. ..

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the country early Tuesday, confirming that an operation agreed with Russian troops was underway.

“I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes to be alive,” Zelensky said. “It takes time, delicacy and time to get the boy home.”

The Ukrainian Army staff said in a statement that the Mariupol garrison “performed a combat mission.”

“The Supreme Military Command has ordered the commanders of the troops stationed in Azofustari to save the lives of their staff,” the statement added, describing them as “heroes of our time.”

According to the statement, the Azov Battalion fighters and Marines, a volunteer group now integrated into the Ukrainian army, have been fiercely resisting the invasion of Russian cities for nearly three months.

“Because of his position in Azofustari, the enemy was unable to transfer groups of up to 17 battalion tactical groups (about 20,000) to other areas,” the staff statement added.

According to the staff, 53 seriously injured soldiers were transferred to a medical facility in the nearby Russian-occupied town of Novaazovsk. It was not immediately clear how they would be transferred to Ukrainian territory. According to the staff exchange, another 211 fighters were evacuated to another town, where they were exchanged for prisoner exchange.

“Measures to rescue the remaining defenders on Azohustari’s territory are ongoing,” the staff statement added, indicating that not all Ukrainian fighters were rescued in night operations.

Ukraine says rescue is underway at Mariupol’s Azovstal ironworks

https://www.ft.com/content/79f3a398-ed1a-4232-ad3e-b0cc3997e86c Ukraine says rescue is underway at Mariupol’s Azovstal ironworks

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