Inot Mariupol After weeks of siege, Ukrainian soldiers are transported away from the Azowstal steelworks, which is surrounded by Russian units. According to the Reuters news agency, an eyewitness saw a dozen buses leave the huge factory premises on Monday. At first it was not possible to determine how many Ukrainian soldiers were on the buses.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced on Facebook that the evacuation of 53 seriously injured soldiers had begun. They were taken to a hospital in Novoazovsk. The city is controlled by pro-Russian separatists. More than 200 other soldiers were brought to Olenivka, which is also under Russian control. They were then reportedly taken to Ukrainian-controlled territory as part of a prisoner exchange. Other measures were taken to save the steelworks units.
In total, about 600 soldiers would have entrenched themselves in Azowstal. The steelworks became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance against the Russian occupier.
A commander of Ukrainian troops trapped there previously explained in a video that he was carrying out orders from high command to save the lives of soldiers. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army had posted a statement on Facebook that the Supreme Military Command had ordered commanders of units stationed in Azovstal to save the lives of personnel. “The Mariupol garrison has fulfilled its combat mission.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address posted on Facebook overnight that it was not an easy day. However, Ukraine needs its living heroes. “Thanks to the actions of the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian armed forces, the secret services, as well as the negotiating team, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN, we hope that we can save our boys ” lives.”
In the afternoon, Moscow had spoken of an agreement for the soldiers injured in the steelworks. The Ministry of Defense said there was a ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor would be opened. The Ukrainian fighters were due to receive medical treatment in the pro-Russian separatist-controlled city of Novoazovsk in eastern Ukraine. Initially, there was no official confirmation of this in Ukraine. The kyiv government had demanded that the injured be transferred to territory controlled by Ukraine or to a third country.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said it had stopped Russian attacks in the country east of the country largely and destroyed several ammunition dumps. “By bombarding the enemy depots located in the city isjum were stationed, the defense forces destroyed large stocks of ammunition,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Monday evening.
According to the kyiv army, Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine Donbas region blocked everywhere. For example, advances towards Sievzherodonetsk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Kurakhove and Avdiivka were repelled.
In Charkiw meanwhile, Ukrainian troops reported a symbolic success in their counter-offensive: at least at one point they advanced to the border with Russia.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense released a video on Monday evening showing a dozen soldiers next to a border post in the national colors of blue and yellow. According to the information, they belong to a brigade of volunteers from the city of Kharkiv.
The Ukrainian army had already signaled in recent days that it was gradually pushing back Russian troops near Kharkiv.
Russia had already withdrawn its troops to northern Ukraine after being stopped outside the capital, kyiv. Russia is currently focusing on the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, where pro-Russian separatists have controlled some areas with help from Moscow since 2014.
Another military setback of the Russian army is also spreading. Less than a week ago, their attempt to cross the Donez using pontoon bridges failed. Almost an entire battalion would have been wiped out.
Now it is becoming increasingly clear how disastrous this maneuver was for the Russian side. According to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War, an American non-profit institution specializing in the observation of armed conflicts, up to 485 Russian soldiers were killed in action. Additionally, up to 80 tanks and guns could have been destroyed.
This is increasingly leading to unrest among Russian bloggers, who had previously applauded and supported the operation. Yuri Podoljaka said he was silent for a long time in a video on Telegram, where he has 2.1 million followers. But now his patience is at an end, and it has to do with what happened on the Donets River, “where, because of the stupidity – I emphasize the stupidity of the Russian command – at least one tactical group of the battalion was burned, maybe two.”
Meanwhile, the municipal administration of the city of Lviv in western Ukraine has become the target of a cyberattack by suspected Russian hackers. Following Friday’s attack, some city services were no longer available, Deputy Mayor Andriy Moskalenko wrote on Facebook. A part had been restored on Sunday.
The attackers also stole internal information from the city administration, which was later posted on “hostile” news channels on the Telegram chat service, Moskalenko wrote. Russia also carries out attacks on the “computing front” and one must be careful offline as well as online.
Ukraine has long been in the crosshairs of hacker groups, which Western computer security experts attribute to the Russian secret service environment. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, an escalation in cyberattacks was also expected, but so far there have been no headlines.