More than a thousand Ukrainian Army have surrendered to Russian forces in the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed the information. However, Ukraine has not commented on the matter. For more than a month now, Russia has been launching a series of attacks on the geographically important port city of Mariupol.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (April 13th) that 1,026 Army from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade had surrendered in the town of Mariupol. Among those who surrendered were 182 army officers. Earlier, Russia’s Defense Ministry said more than 100 soldiers had been injured in clashes between the two forces.
According to Reuters, the Marines were stationed in the Azovostal industrial area of Mariupol. If the area falls to Russia, Russian forces will have full control over Mariupol. This is the first time a major Ukrainian city has collapsed since the start of the military operation on February 24, if Russian demands for the surrender of Ukrainian Army come true.
Mariupol, a port city in eastern Ukraine, is geographically very important to Russia. Experts say Moscow wants to annex the newly declared Donetsk and Luhansk regions to Russian-occupied Crimea. The connection required the capture of the port city of Mariupol. That is why Mariupol is so important to Russia.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said he did not know of any military surrenders. However, General Staff of Ukraine said that Russian Army were continuing to attack the ports of Azovostal and Mariupol.
Meanwhile, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has called for the surrender of the remaining Ukrainian Army at Mariupol’s Azovostal. In a telegram on Wednesday, Kadyrov said, “At the moment, about 200 wounded soldiers in Azovastal are not receiving any medical assistance. For them and for everyone else, it would be better to end this meaningless resistance. You go home to your family. ‘
As seen on Russian television, Ukrainian Marines surrendered at the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol on Tuesday, many of them wounded. Surrendered Ukrainian Army line up a street in Mariupol with their arms raised. One of the soldiers was holding a Ukrainian passport.