The plant became the last source of Ukrainian resistance in the occupied port city of Mariupol (Photo: Reuters)

UkraineRussia’s Defense Ministry has confirmed that the operation to evacuate fighters from the blockade metallurgical plant “Azovstal” continues.

About 53 servicemen were taken to a hospital in the Russian-controlled city of Novoazovsk, said Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Anna Malyar.

Another 264 wounded Ukrainian fighters were taken along humanitarian corridors to Olenivka in Donetsk, she said.

The politician said that the newly released servicemen were exchanged for captured Russian servicemen.

“We are working to save the people who are still in Azovstal,” she said, without saying how many were left.

The widespread plant in Mariupol was the last deterrent to Ukrainian resistance in the occupied port city for more than two months.

A bus carrying Ukrainian servicemen from the blockaded Azovstal steel plant (Photo: Reuters)
The wounded soldier of the Ukrainian forces from the blockade steel plant “Azovstal” in Mariupol is taken out of the bus on a stretcher (Photo: Reuters)

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly raised concerns about the fate of hundreds of soldiers at the plant, many of whom are believed to have been injured as they face harsh conditions and incessant shelling.

News of the rescue mission comes after Ukraine accused Russia of hitting the plant white phosphorus bombs.

In his night speech to the people, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky addressed this situation.

He said the 82nd day of the bloody war in Russia was “difficult”.

He added: “Thanks to the actions of the Ukrainian military – the Armed Forces of Ukraine, intelligence, as well as the negotiating team, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN, we hope to save lives.” our guys.

: Smoke rises over Azovstal plant (Photo: Reuters)

“I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs living Ukrainian heroes. This is our principle. I think that every adequate person will understand these words. “

Zelensky said that work “on returning the boys home” was underway in Mariupol, and fighting was continuing in the east of the country.

Ukrainian troops are “repelling constant attacks in areas where Russia is still trying to advance,” he said, pointing to the city of Severodonetsk as one of Russia’s main targets.

At one point it was assumed that in the metallurgical industry several thousand Ukrainian servicemen along with several hundred civilians.

On Monday night, it was observed that five buses were leaving the plant with soldiers.

The Azov Regiment said its troops in Mariupol lasted 82 days, gaining time for the rest of Ukraine to fight Russian forces and secure Western weapons.

Soldiers at the besieged plant are credited with buying time for Ukraine to push Russia away (Photo: Reuters)

Most of this time, trapped soldiers and civilians experienced severe shortages of food, water, electricity and medicine.

Ukraine says tens of thousands of people have died in Mariupol, most of them in ruins after the indiscriminate Russian bombing.

The General Staff of the military said in a message on Facebook that the fighters evacuated from Azovstal were “heroes of our time.”

Army chiefs said the determination of the besieged troops forced Russia to keep about 20,000 of its own soldiers in the trenches around the city and “hindered the implementation of the plan to quickly capture Zaporozhye.”

“The creation of the main enemy forces around Mariupol gave us the opportunity to prepare and create defensive lines, where our troops are today, and give a decent counterpoint to the aggressor,” – said in a statement.

“We have been given much-needed time to build up reserves, regroup forces and receive assistance from partners,” military chiefs said.

The report says that some fighters remain trapped at the enterprise and note that “measures to rescue defenders who remain in the territory of” Azovstal “continue.”

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Ukrainian fighters holed up in Azovstal steel plant for two months finally freed

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