Azovstal fighters will face Russian interrogation in court

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the he surrendered The Ukrainian fighters who have holed up in the Azovstal steel mill for weeks will have their “fate” decided by a Russian court, a separatist leader from Donetsk said Wednesday.

“As for war criminals and those who are nationalists, if they lay down their weapons their fate should be decided by the court,” leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin told Russian media. “Regardless of the emotions of some, I have heard various opinions, if an opponent lays down his arms, the future fate is decided by the court.

“If this is a Nazi criminal, then court martial,” he added.

Ukrainian military personnel sit on a bus after being evacuated from the defeated Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol, near a prison in Olyonivka, in the territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Ukrainian military personnel sit on a bus after being evacuated from the defeated Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol, near a prison in Olyonivka, in the territory under the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
(Photo AP)

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Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday that 959 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered to Russian forces in Mariupol.

The defense ministry said 80 of the fighters were injured and 51 were hospitalized in the Russian-occupied city of Novoazovsk in Donetsk.

Ukrainian officials have said they are still working to bring their soldiers home in a prisoner exchange, but various Russian officials have said they will disagree and have promoted false claims that the fighters are Nazis.

Reports have also emerged suggesting that the Russian Investigative Committee will question each soldier about alleged crimes committed against civilians and in previously documented cases. The identities of each soldier will be recorded.

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin personally guaranteed that the prisoners would be treated according to international standards, Reuters reported.

In this photo taken from the video released by the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday 17 May 2022, injured Ukrainian soldiers lay on a bus as they were evacuated from the defeated Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol, Ukraine.
(Press service of the Russian Ministry of Defense via AP)

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Pushilin said on Wednesday that Russian forces will demolish the Azovstal steel mill, which has been a symbol of resistance for months as Russian forces brutally punched Mariupol.

The head of the DPR said the plant was polluting the environment, but the Mariupol city council turned to Telegram to challenge it and said that Russia wants to “erase any memory of the heroic deed of the Ukrainian army”.

“The occupiers are not interested in the restoration and development of Mariupol. For them, this is just the territory of the Crimean corridor,” the council added.

Ukrainian military personnel sit on a bus after being evacuated from the defeated Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol, near a prison in Olyonivka, in the territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Ukrainian military personnel sit on a bus after being evacuated from the defeated Azovstal Steel Plant in Mariupol, near a prison in Olyonivka, in the territory under the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic, eastern Ukraine, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
(Photo AP)

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The city council said the steel mill once held 10,000 jobs and produced 7,000 tons of “high quality steel”, 6 million tons of iron and 4.5 million tons of rolled metal, resulting in a foreign gain. billions of dollars.

Mariupol city council said the “forces for unemployment” would soon arrive in the strategically important port city.

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