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20 May, 01:30 PM

Up to 1,700 Ukrainian servicemen have surrendered at Azovstal, says UK Ministry of Defense

Up to 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers mayhave surrendered at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, which has been encircled and besieged by Russian troops for months, the UK Ministry of Defense posited in a tweet on May 20. The number of Ukrainian soldiers left at the steelworks is unknown. 

The MoD added that that Russia will soon send units from Mariupol to step up its offensive in Donbas, reinforcing its units. 

At the same time, thanks to the staunch Ukrainian resistance during the battle of Mariupol, Russian troops will need to resupply and regroup before they can be used again in battle. This process can take a long time, if it is conducted according to procedure, added the MoD. 

However, Russian military command is presumed to be under pressure to demonstrate clear success in fulfilling its tasks by the country’s political leadership, which raises the possibility that units from Mariupol will be thrown into battle very quickly, without proper training, and increasing the risk of further losses.

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