Red Cross registers hundreds of Ukrainian POWs from Mariupol

19 May 2022, 10:04

Ukraine Russia Mariupol
Ukraine Russia Mariupol. Picture: PA

The Russian military says that more Ukrainian fighters who were making a last stand in Mariupol have surrendered.

The Russian military has said that more Ukrainian fighters who were making a last stand in Mariupol have surrendered, bringing the total who have left their stronghold to 1,730, while the Red Cross said it had registered hundreds of them as prisoners of war.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said that the registrations of Ukrainian prisoners of war, which included wounded fighters, began on Tuesday under an agreement between Russia and Ukraine.

The Geneva-based humanitarian agency, which has experience in dealing with prisoners of war and prisoner exchanges, said however that its team did not transport the fighters to “the places where they are held” — which was not specified.

Ukrainian fighters who emerged from the ruined Azovstal steelworks after being ordered by their military to abandon the last stronghold of resistance in the now-flattened port city face an uncertain fate.

Some were taken by the Russians to a former penal colony in territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.

Ukraine Russia Mariupol
A serviceman of Donetsk People’s Republic militia stands guard not far from the besieged Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant (AP Photo)

While Ukraine said it hopes to get the soldiers back in a prisoner swap, Russia threatened to put some of them on trial for war crimes.

The Red Cross cited rules under the Geneva Conventions that should allow the organisation to interview prisoners of war “without witnesses” and that visits with them should not be “unduly restricted”.

The organisation did not specify how many prisoners of war were involved.

It was also not clear how many fighters are left at the plant. Russia previously estimated that it had been battling some 2,000 troops in the waterside plant.

Denis Pushilin, a senior Russia-backed separatist official in a region that includes Mariupol, said that those Ukrainian soldiers who needed medical assistance were admitted to hospital while others were put in a detention facility.

He also claimed that Red Cross representatives were allowed to inspect the detention facility, but that could not be immediately verified.

Despite the setback in Mariupol, Ukraine’s confidence has been growing after fighting the Russian offensive to an effective standstill and forcing Moscow to withdraw from around Kyiv and narrow its military goals.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky who was involved in several rounds of talks with Russia, said on Thursday in a tweet that at this stage “do not offer us a ceasefire — this is impossible without total Russian troops withdrawal”.

“Until Russia is ready to fully liberate occupied territories, our negotiating team is weapons, sanctions and money,” he tweeted.

Russia Ukraine War
Men walk past a damaged building after Russian shelling in Soledar, Donetsk region, Ukraine (Andriy Andriyenko/AP)

Ukraine’s military said in its morning briefing on Thursday that Russian forces were still pressing their offensive on various sections of the front in the east, but were being successfully repelled.

In the eastern Donbas region, which has been the centre of recent fighting as Russian forces on the offensive have clashed with staunch Ukrainian resistance, four civilians were killed in the town of Sievierodonetsk in a Russian bombardment, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said.

Three other civilians were wounded in the attack on Wednesday, and the shelling continued into early Thursday, Mr Haidai said.

On the Russian side of the border, the governor of Kursk province said a truck driver was killed and several other civilians wounded by shelling from Ukraine.

Separatist authorities in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine said two civilians were killed and five wounded also in Ukrainian shelling over the last 24 hours.

Mariupol was a target of the Russians from the outset as Moscow sought to open a land corridor from its territory to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

The city — its pre-war population of about 430,000 now reduced by about three-quarters — has largely been reduced to rubble by relentless bombardment, and Ukraine says over 20,000 civilians have been killed there.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Police say that the suspect, 22, had mental health problems

Man charged with murder over Copenhagen shooting

Spanish military jets diverted the Menorca-bound easyJet flight for security checks.

Dramatic moment easyJet flight intercepted by fighter jets over 'hoax bomb threat'

Jake McLean (centre) was reportedly killed in the crash, whilst Yazmin Oukhellou (insert) was injured

Lauren Goodger's ex Jake McLean dies in car crash with TOWIE star Yazmin Oukhellou injured

A piece of glacier broke away on the Marmolada mountain

Six dead after chunk of glacier breaks off and slams into hikers on Italian mountain

Several people have been killed in a shooting in a Copenhagen shopping centre

Chilling video shows suspected Copenhagen gunman brandishing rifle before 3 were killed

Residents in a number of Sydney suburbs were ordered to evacuate

Thousands flee their homes as flooding hits Sydney

A woman died after losing an arm and a leg in a shark attack off the coast of Hurghada, Egypt

Second woman killed by shark off Egypt's red sea coast

Oscar Pistorius has met with the father of Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius meets victim Reeva Steenkamp's father in a bid for parole

North Korea has blamed its Covid outbreak on 'alien things' and balloons coming from South Korea.

North Korea blames Covid outbreak on 'alien things' and balloons from South

Exclusive
Boris Johnson said Putin does not have to give up power for there to be peace in Ukraine

Putin's made more than 30 nuke threats during Ukraine invasion, Boris tells LBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit back at western leaders for their lack of "machismo" and said it would be ‘disgusting’ to see Boris Johnson topless.

Putin mocks G7 leaders' lack of 'machismo' and says PM would look 'disgusting' topless

Ukraine has retaken Snake Island after Moscow's troops abandoned the strategic outpost in what Russia's Defence Ministry has described as a 'goodwill gesture'.

'Kaboom!' Ukraine celebrates Putin's humiliation as Russia retreats from Snake Island

President Joe Biden listens as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks

Ketanji Brown Jackson to be sworn in as US Supreme Court justice

An investigator works outside the Bataclan concert hall (Christophe Ena/PA)

Life without parole for surviving extremist who carried out Paris attacks

A shark is seen swimming across a sand bar (Phil Marcelo/AP)

Great white sharks head to Cape Cod as busy tourist season gets under way

Police outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris (Catherine Wylie/PA)

Men convicted of involvement in 2015 terror attacks in Paris