Ukraine declares 'combat mission' over in Mariupol amid evacuation

Ukrainian forces have completed theircombat missionin the besieged city of Mariupol, according to a statement by the country’s military.

Commanders of units stationed at the city’s massive Azovstal steelworks plant have been orderedto save the lives of their personnel,” the statement by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also said.
Hundreds of people were evacuated on Monday from the steel plant, the last holdout in a city that had become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance under relentless Russian bombardment.
    Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar described the evacuation operation in a separate video statement, noting that some Ukrainian forces remain at Azovstal.
      Fifty-three seriously injured people were evacuated from Azovstal to a medical facility in Novoazovsk for medical care,” lei disse. “Un altro 211 people were taken to Olenivka through the humanitarian corridor.
        Un “exchange procedurewill see the evacuees eventually brought home, Malyar also said.
        Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday in a statement about the evacuation, thanking the Ukrainian military and negotiators, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations.
          The 82nd day of our defense is coming to an end. A difficult day. But this day, like all others, is aimed precisely at saving our country and our people,” Zelensky said.
          The Russian Defense Ministry had earlier said that a ceasefire had been established to allow the passage of wounded Ukrainian servicemen, according to state news agency RIA Novosti.
          Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov, has been the scene of some of the most intense fighting in Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in late February.
          Many civilians have already been evacuated. But Ukrainian fighters in the city had, in Aprile, vowed tofight until the end,” despite being surrounded, low on ammunition and outnumbered by Russian forces.
          Russian TV network RT on Monday showed video of around 10 per 12 buses leaving the steel plant. The buses appeared to be a mixture of hospital and ordinary transport, some marked with a red cross.
          Nella sua dichiarazione, Malyar creditedthe defenders of Mariupolfor gaining Ukrainecritical time to form reserves, regroup forces and receive assistance from partners.
          “Sfortunatamente, we do not have the opportunity to unblock Azovstal by military means,” lei disse.
          The country’s Azov Regiment on Monday also issued a statement sayingthe entire Mariupol garrisonwas following orders to save lives.
            In order to save lives, the entire Mariupol garrison is implementing the approved decision of the Supreme Military Command and hopes for the support of the Ukrainian people,” the Azov Regiment said in a statement late Monday.
            The defenders of Mariupol fulfilled the order, despite all the difficulties, and distracted the overwhelming forces of the enemy for 82 giorni.”

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