Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs allows exchange of prisoners with Azovstal

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ROMAN PETRENKOMONDAY, MAY 23, 2022, 12:06 PM

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko allowed discussions with Ukraine on the exchange of prisoners from Azovstal.

Source: "RIA Novosti"

Details: he did not provide any additional information.

Earlier, member of the Russian negotiation team and State Duma deputy Leonid Slutsky said that the Russian authorities would "study the issue" of exchanging detained People’s Deputy Viktor Medvedchuk for captured defenders of Mariupol, but later in the evening "changed his mind".

Background:

  • Mariupol was blocked by Russian troops on March 1. Since the end of April, The Defenders of Mariupol have been blocked at the Azovstal plant: these are representatives of the National Guard’s Azov Regiment, Marines, border guards, and policemen. They asked the world to save them: the Marines asked for "extraction", while the Azov Regiment asked for at least the evacuation of their wounded soldiers.

  • On May 16, the Russians continued their attempts to enter the factory or block exits from the bunkers of Azovstal. Later, they allegedly agreed with the Ukrainian defenders on the removal of wounded soldiers to the occupied territory.

  • The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated that the "Mariupol" garrison had completed a combat mission and that the commanders now have an order to save lives of personnel. The Defence Ministry explained that the only escape option for defenders from Azovstal was to go out to the enemy.

Western media reported that on May 17, at least 7 buses with Ukrainian soldiers left from Azovstal under the control of the Russian invaders. At this time, 256 defenders, including 51 wounded, were taken out to The Colony in Olenovtsi. Ukrainian fighters will be interrogated.