“Superman” steel plant fighter from Ukraine

A place 'forever in history': Ukraine's 'Superman' steel plant fighter

Russia-Ukraine War: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has entered its 73rd day.


Ukrainians in the capital were proud on Wednesday of how gunmen at a steel plant in southern Ukraine had been fighting Russian troops for weeks but now feared they were being held captive.

Russia says hundreds of Ukrainian fighters surrendered this week at the besieged Azvestal plant in the port city of Mariupol, saying the fighting had become a symbol of Ukraine’s fierce resistance against Russian aggression.

The Kyiv government is hoping to exchange captured Ukrainian fighters for Russian prisoners of war, but Moscow has not yet confirmed whether there will be a transfer.

“I can’t imagine how they did it. As I see it, there are ordinary people and then there are the boys,” added Maxim Maliovani, a 23-year-old set designer from the capital Kiev, who was amazed at their courage and endurance.

Andrew, a 37-year-old security guard, said Mariupol’s fighters were “Superman.”

“It was a stronghold of people who did the impossible,” he said of Azvastal, while encouraging other countries to support the return of fighters to Ukraine.

The development of the steel plant occurs when the supply decreases and the condition of the injured deteriorates.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that talks are under way with Moscow over the future of the last troops inside Azovstal.

“There is no other way. They have to save lives. Some of them are already injured … there is no other option,” Bohdan, 46, a Kiev resident, told AFP about the talks.

‘Forever in History’

On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said 959 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered at the steel plant this week, with 80 wounded and ready to be treated at a hospital in the Russian-controlled region.

Ukraine said Monday that 260 fighters had left the plant, calling it an eviction operation, but did not provide updated figures.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

Video footage and photos posted on social media this week showed a stream of soldiers leaving the steel plant, most of whom were seen with heavy beards, bruised or injured, and several were run over on temporary stretchers.

Kiev residents who spoke to AFP said Russia could not be trusted to treat its troops humanely.

“Yesterday I heard on Russian television … that they could kill them because they thought they were Nazis. I’m scared,” said student Alexander Gerasimenko, 23.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian general workers said Mariupol’s troops had “performed their war work” and now the main goal was to “save the lives of the workers”.

By being trapped at the Azovstal plant, Mariupol’s guards intercepted a large number of Russian troops and prevented them from capturing the southern city of Zaporizhia, a Facebook statement said.

“They are forever in history,” it added.

Last month, the Kremlin announced that its forces were in control of Mariupol after a week-long siege of the port city.

But despite Russia’s claim to control the area, hundreds of Ukrainian troops continue to resist underground tunnels beneath the vast Azovstal industrial zone.

Kiev’s defense ministry said it would do “everything necessary” to rescue the remaining Azovstal staff, but acknowledged that no military option was available.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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