There is still a way out for the Ukrainian defenders of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, who have been holding out against concerted Russian attacks for weeks, military expert Oleg Zhdanov told Radio NV on May 8.
This possibility could be a third country extraction, Zhdanov explained.
“The extraction means that by agreement of two opposing parties, i.e. Ukraine and Russia, a third country takes away the servicemen, in this case our defenders of the Azovstal steelworks," he said.
"The third country not only takes them away, but guarantees that they will not enter our country until the end of the war. That is, they will stay on the territory of a third country and will not engage in armed struggle."
At the same time, Zhdanov added that in order to carry out the extraction, the agreement of all three parties involved in this operation is required."That is, Russia must agree to this, Ukraine, as well as a third country which will commit itself to the extraction of our servicemen."
All women, children and elderly civilians were evacuated from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol over the course of May 1 to May 7. During the evacuation, the Russians killed three Ukrainian soldiers who were helping citizens evacuated from the plant.
At the same time, Russia has refused to provide a withdrawal corridor for the defenders of Mariupol, who continue to defend the besieged Azovstal plant.
They have repeatedly asked for the extraction procedure to be applied to them.
On May 8, the defenders of Mariupol gave a press conference from the besieged Azovstal plant saying that they had deliberately entered a pocket in Mariupol, and did everything possible and impossible to attract overwhelming forces of Russian troops in the city.
According to the Ukrainian defenders, the Russian invaders have killed 25,000 people in Mariupol during the 74 days of the war.