1,770 Azov nationalist militants surrender
Russia ready for peace talks anytime Ukraine is ready -Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
Russian Ministry of Defence(RuMOD) on Thursday confirmed that over 1,770 militants holed up in the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol have surrendered including 80 wounded that were taken to hospital. This was made known during the daily operational briefing by Major-General Igor Konashenkov the RuMOD spokesman.
“In the past 24 hours, 771 militants of the Azov nationalist battalion holed up in the Azovstal steel works surrendered. Overall, 1,730 militants, including 80 wounded servicemen, have surrendered since May 16,” he said.
“All the Ukrainian servicemen who need in-patient care are receiving medical assistance at health institutions in Novoazovsk and Donetsk.” The RuMOD spokesman added. It was not immediately clear where the able nationalists who surrendered were taken to but unverified reports suggest they are being taken to Donetsk for pre- war crimes trial interrogation.
In the briefing the spokesman also gave an update on the ongoing special military operation. On Wednesday, Russian aircraft bombed seven command posts, eleven missile, artillery and ammunition depots in Bakhmut, Konstantinovka, Il’inka and Minkovka of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Russian air based missiles also struck 26 other locations of Ukrainian forces.
“One S-300 anti-aircraft missile system battalion near Bolshye Lomzaki, Nikolaev Region, and one Buk-M1 SAM battalion near Slavyanogorsk, Donetsk People’s Republic, destroyed.” Konashenkov stated. While troops and helicopters attacked 58 Ukrainian positions resulting in 340 nationalists killed and 62 armoured vehicles destroyed.
Russian artillery also struck 295 nationalist positions and destroyed 2 radio electronic warfare stations. The Russians also came under drone attack and their air defence shot down 15 Ukrainian drones including one Bayraktar -TB2 near Volchiy Yar, Borshchevka, Velikie Khutora, Malye Prokhody, Snezhkovka and Petrovskoe in Kharkov Region and Chernobaevka and Novaya Kakhovka in Kherson Region. While Ukrainian Smerch multiple-launch rockets were intercepted near Topolskoe, Malaya Kamyshevakha, Semenovka, Shpakovka, Glinskoe, Snezhkovka in Kharkov Region and Chernobayevka in Kherson Region.
“In total, 172 Ukrainian aircraft and 125 helicopters, 942 unmanned aerial vehicles, 313 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,158 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 395 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,562 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3,026 units of special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.” The Russian general concluded.
Also Thursday, the Russian deputy foreign minister Andrey Rudenko told reporters that Russia was ready for peace talks whenever Kiev was ready.
“The negotiation process was not interrupted by us. It was put on pause by our Ukrainian partners. As soon as they express their willingness to return to the negotiating table, we will respond positively,” he said.
“The main thing is to have something to discuss,” Rudenko stressed.