694 Ukrainian Soldiers Surrender at Azovstal Steel Plant

Meanwhile, Russian and Ukrainian officials confirmed that negotiations on a solution to the conflict have been suspended as the process is mired in stalemate.

On Wednesday, Russia informed that 694 Ukrainian soldiers blocked at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol have surrendered over the past 24 hours, including 29 wounded.

“A total of 959 militants have surrendered since May 16, including 80 wounded,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that 51 of them are in need of medical assistance and have been admitted to a hospital in Donetsk’s Novoazovsk for treatment.

The soldiers began to surrender on Monday following an agreement reached between Moscow and Kiev on the evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers. Mariupol, a key Azov Sea port city, has seen one of the worst bouts of bloody violence in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Azovstal plant, which covers an area of about 11 square km, is the holdout of the Ukrainian forces in Mariupol.

Previously, Russian and Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday that negotiations on a solution to the current crisis have been suspended as the process is mired in stalemate.

“The talks are not going on. Ukraine has actually withdrawn from the negotiation process,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko told reporters, adding that Russia has received no response from Ukraine to its draft treaty.

“Today the negotiation process was suspended. It was suspended because there are no significant changes or upheavals after the Istanbul communique,” Mykhailo Podolyak, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, said.

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