Ukrainian soldiers who have spent weeks barricaded under a massive steel plant amid heavy Russian bombing and shelling have been evacuated to Russian-occupied territory in Ukraine’s east.
The evacuation from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol was an arrangement that Ukrainian authorities said was made with the help of the United Nations and other agencies.
In a statement posted to Facebook, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said that more than 260 soldiers were evacuated to Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, including 53 seriously injured fighters who arrived at a medical facility in the occupied town of Novoazovsk. The rest are in Olenivka, another occupied town where thousands of Ukrainians were reportedly taken by Russian troops attacking Mariupol. Russian bombing and shelling has destroyed nearly the entire city.