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Ukraine news – live: More than 260 Azovstal defenders evacuated from Mariupol plant

‘We hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys,’ president Zelensky said

Andy Gregory,Emily Atkinson
Tuesday 17 May 2022 03:00
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Senate GOP delegation meets Zelensky in Ukraine

The evacuation of Ukrainian defenders from Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks has been confirmed by Kyiv’s defence ministry and president Volodymyr Zelensky.

According to deputy defence minister Hannah Maylar, 53 seriously injured personnel have been taken to the town of Novoazovsk which is under the control of Russia-backed separatists.

Ms Maylar said a further 211 people were evacuated from the sprawling plant via a humanitarian corridor to Olenivka.

She later tweeted that the Ukrainian defenders were exchanged for captured Russian soldiers, referring to the latter as “captured racists”.

Ms Maylar’s reports have since been backed up by president Zelensky, who in his nightly address added: “We hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys.”

It followed witness accounts that five buses and an armoured personnel carrier carrying Ukraine’s servicemen from the vast plant arrived late on Monday in Novoazovsk.

A witness claimed a number of the evacuees were carried out of the buses on stretchers and transported into a hospital.

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Images capture buses carrying service members of Ukrainian forces from the besieged Azovstal steel mill as they drive away under escort of the pro-Russian military.

Emily Atkinson17 May 2022 03:00
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Torture and terror in Ukraine's occupied towns - On The Ground

Torture and terror in Ukraine's occupied towns - On The Ground
Emily Atkinson17 May 2022 02:00
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‘We hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys,’ Zelensky says

In his nightly address to the nation, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky put the spotlight on the evacuation of the Azovstal steelworks defenders.

“Thanks to the actions of the Ukrainian military - the Armed Forces of Ukraine, intelligence, the negotiating team, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations, we hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys,” he said.

“Among them are the seriously wounded. They are being provided with medical aid.

“I want to emphasise: Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle. I think that every adequate person will understand these words.”

Work “to bring the boys home” is continuing in Mariupol, he added.

Emily Atkinson17 May 2022 01:00
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Azovstal defenders dubbed ‘heroes of our time'

The Azovstal defenders who were earlier evacuated from the beseiged Mairupol steelworks have been described as “heroes of our time” by the Ukrainian army’s general staff.

Posting on Facebook, top military offficials said the troops had “hindered the implementation of the plan for the rapid capture of Zaporizhzhia”.

“Forging the enemy’s core forces around Mariupol has given us the opportunity to prepare and create the defensive frontiers on which our troops are still present today and give a decent counterpoint to the aggressor.

“We got the critically needed time to build reserves, regroup forces, and get help from partners,” military chiefs went on.

The post added that some fighters remain trapped at the plant and said measures to “rescue defenders who remain in the territory of Azovstal are ongoing”

Emily Atkinson17 May 2022 00:00
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Lviv ‘under heavy attack’, says Ukraine MP

A Ukrainian MP has said that the city of Lviv in the west of the country is currently under “heavy attack.”

Tweeting 25 minutes ago, Lesia Vasylenko MP said: “Lviv is under heavy attack right now. Friends say it has never been this loud. This is WEST Ukraine. Very close to Poland.”

Emily Atkinson16 May 2022 23:26
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Zelensky confirms Azovstal evacuations

Emily Atkinson16 May 2022 23:08
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Azovstal fighters were ‘exchanged’ for captured Russian troops

The 264 defenders rescued from Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks were exchanged for captured Russian soldiers, according to a tweet from Ukraine’s deputy defence minister.

In the same post, Hannah Maylar described the Russian troops as “captured racists”.

Emily Atkinson16 May 2022 23:04
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Turkey won’t approve Sweden and Finland’s Nato bids, Erdogan says

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has poured cold water on Sweden and Finland’s “historic” announcements that they will to apply to join Nato in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, as he insisted that Ankara would not approve their bids.

Sweden’s premier Magdalena Andersson followed Finland on Monday in saying that Stockholm would bring 200 years of neutrality to an end in seeking to join the western military alliance, with all but two of the Nordic nation’s eight parliamentary parties now backing the move.

Despite Vladimir Putin appearing to back down significantly on the issue by insisting Russia had “no problem” with the countries’ Nato bids, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and France all joined the UK in pledging to defend the two nations in the event of an attack prior to their accession – a “vulnerable” period which Ms Andersson suggested could last up to a year.

Andy Gregory reports:

Turkey won’t approve Sweden and Finland’s Nato bids, Erdogan says

President tells Stockholm and Helsinki not to bother sending delegations to Ankara, as Putin issues softened warning

Emily Atkinson16 May 2022 22:51
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Kyiv confirms evacuation of Azovstal defenders

The evacuation of Ukrainian defenders from Maiurpol’s Azovstal steelworks has been confirmed by Kyiv’s defence ministry, the BBC reports.

According to deputy defence minister Hannah Maylar, 53 seriously injured personnel have been taken to the town of Novoazovsk which is under the control of Russia-backed separatists.

The broadcaster also cites Ms Maylar as saying another 211 people were evacuated from the sprawling plant via a humanitarian corridor to Olenivka.

Emily Atkinson16 May 2022 22:35
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Five buses of evacuated Azovstal servicemen arrive in Novoazovsk, witness says

More witness reports have been rolling in from Mariupol’s beseiged Azovstal steel plant, where Ukrainain defenders have been holed up for weeks in a last ditch attempt to protect the stragetic city from a Russian takeover.

According to Reuters sources, five buses and an armoured personnel carrier carrying Ukraine’s servicemen from the vast plant arrived late on Monday in Novoazovsk.

A witness claimed a number of the evacuees were carried out of the buses on stretchers and carried into a hospital.

Novoazovsk is under the control of Russia-backed separatists who have held parts of eastern Ukraine since 2014.

Our post from 9.07pm detailed a seperate witness report that claimed about a dozen buses left the steel plant.

Russian media have since alleged that some of the buses went to a location other than Novoazovsk.

Emily Atkinson16 May 2022 22:21

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