Ukraine says 144 POWs — the majority of them defenders of Azovstal in Mariupol — have returned home in a prisoner exchange.
Good news, 144 UA defenders were freed, including 95 Azovstal defenders. Many of the exchanged have injuries and need immediate medical attention.
Azovstal defender Vitaliy Zinchenko died May 5 covering his comrades from the enemy tank, receiving fatal shrapnel wounds. His body cannot be taken from Azovstal plant, b/c Russians do not allow it. About 200 bodies of killed UA defenders still at Azovstal
Putin is hailing Russia's "liberation" of Mariupol after his forces completely destroyed during a two-month siege. He told defense minister Sergei Shoigu to block off the Azovstal metallurgical plant, where the last Ukrainian troops are holed up, "so that a fly can't get in."
defender Serhiy Volyna writes from Azovstal: "It is as if I found myself in some hellish reality show where we, military,are fighting for life, using every chance,&the world is watching an interesting story. This is real:pain, suffering, hunger, torment, tears, fear, death" 1/2
Happening now: Svyatoslav Palamar, second in command of the Azov Regiment in Mariupol, and Illia Samoilenko, an Azov Regiment lieutenant, are speaking to journalists from inside the Azovstal plant via Zoom. They paint a dire picture of the situation there.
"If world civilization still has common spiritual values, if ppl can still feel pain of others, if a plea 4 help can call 2 action, then I call to fight 4 Mariupol garrison! Marines R always faithful!" Serhiy Volyna calls on world to launch extraction for defenders at Azovstal
Situation in Mariupol Azovstal growing more dire. Marine commander Serhiy Volyna says ~600 wounded troops in serious condition, w/o meds, in unsanitary conditions; 100s of civilians including many kids, people with disabilities underground. They’re running out of food and water.
The Marine commander at Azovstal appealed to Erdogan "I am appealing to Turkish people,to President to apply extraction procedure,to do all to take Mariupol garrison to ,to practically take us away with sec.guarantees from side. We are much counting on your help" @HaberturkTV