The Fort Worth Press - Russia says hundreds of Ukrainians surrender at Azovstal, Kyiv urges swap

USD -
AED 3.673016
AFN 71.737228
ALL 92.504722
AMD 387.156217
ANG 1.800157
AOA 848.359004
ARS 889.580927
AUD 1.508751
AWG 1.8025
AZN 1.703567
BAM 1.801999
BBD 2.016769
BDT 117.160363
BGN 1.801999
BHD 0.376468
BIF 2867.093564
BMD 1
BND 1.348689
BOB 6.901921
BRL 5.138719
BSD 0.998848
BTN 83.019118
BWP 13.570738
BYN 3.268807
BYR 19600
BZD 2.01336
CAD 1.36675
CDF 2810.00011
CHF 0.914499
CLF 0.032842
CLP 906.220468
CNY 7.241992
CNH 7.26126
COP 3864.74
CRC 512.092873
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.593956
CZK 22.705302
DJF 177.841249
DKK 6.87691
DOP 58.819736
DZD 134.383379
EGP 47.144437
ERN 15
ETB 57.390519
EUR 0.92175
FJD 2.26765
FKP 0.796099
GBP 0.78505
GEL 2.70968
GGP 0.796099
GHS 14.532639
GIP 0.796099
GMD 67.774965
GNF 8586.17036
GTQ 7.758787
GYD 208.974064
HKD 7.81284
HNL 24.683282
HRK 6.979956
HTG 132.795872
HUF 354.269684
IDR 16045
ILS 3.658575
IMP 0.796099
INR 83.05245
IQD 1308.425853
IRR 42075.000091
ISK 138.170072
JEP 0.796099
JMD 156.318238
JOD 0.708896
JPY 156.873999
KES 130.349572
KGS 87.955704
KHR 4074.261759
KMF 455.650128
KPW 899.999697
KRW 1366.349793
KWD 0.30701
KYD 0.832358
KZT 442.391855
LAK 21378.357212
LBP 89445.15594
LKR 299.212236
LRD 193.574997
LSL 18.479837
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.839913
MAD 9.963146
MDL 17.71963
MGA 4426.221956
MKD 56.774312
MMK 2097.572212
MNT 3449.999773
MOP 8.03796
MRU 39.739565
MUR 46.079845
MVR 15.459914
MWK 1731.791588
MXN 16.672615
MYR 4.709637
MZN 63.496955
NAD 18.480124
NGN 1468.150173
NIO 36.762335
NOK 10.5915
NPR 132.830884
NZD 1.633275
OMR 0.384669
PAB 0.998848
PEN 3.734095
PGK 3.881697
PHP 58.190296
PKR 277.863546
PLN 3.92215
PYG 7512.783895
QAR 3.641506
RON 4.586599
RSD 107.934675
RUB 91.625017
RWF 1313.493343
SAR 3.750603
SBD 8.475185
SCR 13.659033
SDG 600.999662
SEK 10.660099
SGD 1.349602
SHP 1.26345
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.50094
SOS 571.000261
SRD 32.274498
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.740038
SYP 2512.529855
SZL 18.363661
THB 36.649681
TJS 10.767402
TMT 3.51
TND 3.11875
TOP 2.364801
TRY 32.224902
TTD 6.783065
TWD 32.229839
TZS 2596.949818
UAH 40.091215
UGX 3800.617312
UYU 38.439213
UZS 12698.207951
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.500745
VND 25471
VUV 118.72199
WST 2.803093
XAF 604.373704
XAG 0.032815
XAU 0.000428
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.754503
XOF 604.373704
XPF 110.701654
YER 250.349933
ZAR 18.41569
ZMK 9001.187991
ZMW 26.658682
ZWL 321.999592
  • SCS

    0.1300

    13.18

    +0.99%

  • GSK

    -0.0300

    45.12

    -0.07%

  • RELX

    0.5300

    44.69

    +1.19%

  • NGG

    -1.0300

    60.69

    -1.7%

  • AZN

    0.3600

    78.54

    +0.46%

  • RYCEF

    0.1020

    5.65

    +1.81%

  • RBGPF

    -1.8300

    55.21

    -3.31%

  • RIO

    0.4300

    71.85

    +0.6%

  • BCE

    -0.2200

    33.57

    -0.66%

  • CMSC

    0.1200

    24.24

    +0.5%

  • BCC

    4.6500

    141.11

    +3.3%

  • VOD

    -0.0300

    9.33

    -0.32%

  • BTI

    -0.1100

    30.62

    -0.36%

  • BP

    0.3000

    36.72

    +0.82%

  • CMSD

    0.0000

    24.09

    0%

  • JRI

    0.0250

    11.395

    +0.22%

Russia says hundreds of Ukrainians surrender at Azovstal, Kyiv urges swap
Russia says hundreds of Ukrainians surrender at Azovstal, Kyiv urges swap / Photo: © Ukrainian President Administration press-service/AFP

Russia says hundreds of Ukrainians surrender at Azovstal, Kyiv urges swap

Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who held off Russian fighters at the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol have surrendered, Moscow said Tuesday, as Kyiv called for an immediate prisoner swap.

Text size:

The strategic port city fell to Russian forces last month, but a relentless Ukrainian military unit held out in the maze of tunnels under the plant, hailed as heroes and celebrated for stalling Moscow's invasion.

On Tuesday, 265 of them were taken into Russian captivity, including 51 who were heavily wounded, the Russian defence ministry said.

The ministry, which published images showing soldiers on stretchers, said the injured were transported to a hospital in the eastern Donetsk region controlled by pro-Kremlin rebels.

The defence ministry in Kyiv said it was hoping for an "exchange procedure... to repatriate these Ukrainian heroes as quickly as possible".

The government would do "everything necessary" to rescue the undisclosed number of personnel still holed up in the Soviet-era bunkers, the ministry said, but admitted there was no military option available.

The fate of the captured Ukrainians was unclear Tuesday, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refusing to say whether they would be treated as criminals or prisoners of war.

President Vladimir Putin "guaranteed that they would be treated according to the relevant international laws," Peskov said.

Trust between the two sides is in short supply, with Kyiv saying negotiations on ending the three-month conflict were on hold, blaming Moscow for a refusal to compromise.

Russian forces stand accused of committing war crimes during a conflict that has left thousands dead and forced millions to flee their homes.

These include the summary killing of civilians in places like Bucha, a small town outside of Kyiv, where AFP reporters witnessed bodies abandoned in the streets by retreating Russian invaders.

The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it was deploying its largest-ever field team to Ukraine, with 42 investigators, forensic experts and support staff being sent into the field to gather evidence of alleged crimes.

And the US State Department also announced it was creating a special unit to research, document and publicise Russian war crimes.

The Conflict Observatory will "capture, analyse, and make widely available evidence of Russia-perpetrated war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine," the department said.

- NATO membership -

Moscow's invasion has galvanised a broad coalition of western nations, with Europe and the United States supplying weapons and support to Ukraine, but it has also sparked fears among countries on Russia's periphery about where Putin will set his sights next.

Finland and Sweden will on Wednesday formally submit a joint application to become members of NATO, the US-led western military alliance established to hold back Soviet Russia.

The application comes after lawmakers in Finland -- which shares a 1,300-kilometre (800-mile) border with Russia -- voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the bloc.

Although both countries have long cooperated with NATO, they have spent decades formally unaligned.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has galvanised public support for membership, which would guarantee an overwhelming military response from NATO members if Finland is attacked.

The two bids must be unanimously approved by the alliance's 30 nations, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has objected, accusing the Nordic nations of harbouring terror groups sympathetic to Kurdish separatists.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has voiced confidence the bids will succeed and is due to meet Turkey's foreign minister in Washington Wednesday.

- 'Trying to stay alive' -

The defence of Azovstal has symbolized Ukraine's plucky resistance against a much larger invading force, with Kyiv's troops holding out longer than many expected, fortified by weapons and cash from Western allies.

But the defence has not been without its price: whole villages have been razed, and their inhabitants left with nothing.

In Ruska Lozova, just north of Kharkiv, Rostislav Stepanenko told AFP how he had gone back to collect some belongings but returned empty-handed and stunned by the incessant artillery fire.

Asked what he did for a living, he joked he was "trying to stay alive".

In a phone call Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that arms deliveries from Paris would "increase in intensity" in the coming weeks.

Zelensky said the two leaders also discussed fuel supplies to Ukraine, ways to export Ukrainian agricultural products and Kyiv's application to join the European Union, which Macron has said could take decades.

- Strategic shift -

Russia's strategy has shifted considerably since its initial invasion, when troops tried to encircle Kyiv, in what was thought to be an attempt to decapitate the democratically elected government.

Ukrainian officials say Russian troops are now withdrawing from around Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city.

Forces are instead being deployed around the eastern region of Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting a guerilla war for years.

Targets include Severodonetsk, the easternmost city held by Ukrainian forces, the capture of which would give the Kremlin de facto control of Lugansk, one of two regions -- along with Donetsk -- that comprise Donbas.

Russia's attempt to surround Severodonetsk has been repelled, with Ukrainian forces blowing up railway bridges to slow the advance.

But the city was being shelled ceaselessly, with at least 10 people killed in fresh Russian strikes Monday, according to regional authorities.

Putin said Tuesday that Europe risked "economic suicide" if it turned off the taps.

Global oil prices have swung wildly in recent months, and inflation is rising in many parts of the world, partly because of the war in Ukraine.

burs-hg/amz/md

G.George--TFWP