Political Editor with files from sputniknews:
Arabnews24.ca:Wednesday 18 May 2022 08:27 AM: Thousands of fighters, including crack troops from Ukraine’s 35th Marine Brigade, militants from the notorious neo-Nazi Azov Regiment, and foreign mercenaries, were trapped in Mariupol in early March as Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic forces encircled the Azov Sea-adjacent city and proceeded to close the noose. Heavy block-by-block fighting left large areas of the city destroyed, with Ukrainian forces retreating to Azovstal in late April, where they planned to make their last stand. Kiev made repeated attempts to try to get commanders and mercs out, but to no avail. On Monday, Ukrainian authorities announced that the combat operation in Azovstal had come to an end, and that 264 fighters, including 53 seriously injured persons, had been taken to areas controlled by Russian forces. The Russian MoD confirmed that militants hiding at Azovstal had laid down their arms. On Wednesday, the MoD reported that a total of 959 militants, including 80 injured, surrendered to Russian forces over the past three days.