More than a hundred and forty civilians and 5 Ukrainian troops were evacuated from the besieged port city of Mariupol, separatists said, as Moscow intensified its offensive in the east.
“Five servicemen of Ukraine’s armed forces laid down their palms and voluntarily left the territory of the Azovstal plant,” the separatist government inside the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said in a submission to the messaging app Telegram on Wednesday.
In a separate submission late Tuesday, separatists stated that more than a hundred and forty people had also been evacuated from the devastated metropolis, which presents a crucial land bridge between Russian-managed components of Japanese Ukraine and the Kremlin-annexed Crimea peninsula.
The Kremlin’s forces are fighting to oust the remaining Ukrainian troops from their last holdout in the vast Azovstal iron and steel plant in Mariupol.
On Tuesday, Moscow said that Russian forces had opened a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian troops who agreed to lay down their arms to leave Mariupol.
Coastal Mariupol is a key goal of Russia’s devastating attack on Ukraine and massive shelling has laid waste to swathes of the port metropolis.
Moscow has issued a series of ultimatums to Ukrainian forces in Mariupol to put down their fingers and surrender.