The Ukrainian military says it is working to evacuate its remaining personnel from the port city of Mariupol, which is under siege by Russian forces.
According to media reports, the Russian army had been bombing Mariupol for two months to gain control of the city.
After the announcement of the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the city, the control of Russian forces over Mariupol will be completed, which will be its biggest defeat in the war that has been going on since February 24.
The war-torn city of Mariupol has been reduced to rubble by the war, with tens of thousands killed, according to the Ukrainian government.
Announcing the withdrawal, General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in a statement that “the Mariupol military base has completed its combat mission.”
According to the statement, the army’s top command has ordered the commanders of units stationed at the Azovostel steel plant in Mariupol to save the lives of their personnel. Defenders of Mariupol are the heroes of our time. “
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Anna Maliar said the 53 wounded in Azovostel had been taken to a hospital in the Russian-controlled town of Novosibirsk, 32 kilometers to the east, for treatment.
He said another 211 officers had been transferred to the town of Olinoka, which is occupied by pro-Russian separatists.
Ukraine’s deputy defense minister said the officers would likely return from Russia in exchange for prisoners of war.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. The Ukrainian military says it is trying to evacuate its personnel.
According to Reuters, five buses carrying military personnel arrived in Novorossiysk on Monday from Azovostel, many of whom were taken to hospital on stretchers.
The Azovastel steel plant is believed to have housed 600 military personnel.