Ukraine Minister claims Evacuation from Azovstal only way to save troops

KIEV: According to Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar, the only way to save Ukrainian troops is to evacuate them from the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol, which is under siege.

"In this situation, military unblocking is unfortunately impossible. There is no alternative redemption formula than the one currently in use. It was our only option "Malyar said late Tuesday, according to report citing sources.

According to Malyar, Ukrainian military personnel in Mariupol have completed their combat task. She went on to say that the Azovstal rescue operation will go on until Ukrainian forces returned home from the uncontrolled zone.

According to Malyar, 53 badly wounded soldiers were sent to a hospital in Novoazovsk, while 211 other personnel were transported to Olenivka via the humanitarian corridor.  Kiev expects the detained Russians to be traded for Ukrainian soldiers.

One of the biggest outbreaks of violence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict occurred in Mariupol, a significant Azov Sea port city in eastern Ukraine. The Azovstal facility, which spans 11 square kilometres, is the last stronghold of Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol.

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