The commander of Ukraine said he did not regret surrendering to Russia
The commander of the 501st Battalion of the Ukrainian Marines felt it was “pointless” to put soldiers at risk on the battlefield, stressing that he did not regret surrendering.
Russian state TV channel Rossiya-1 April 18 posted a video interview with Lieutenant Colonel Nikolay Biryukov, commander of the 501st Battalion of the Ukrainian Marines. In early April, the unit marched unarmed through Mariupol with its arms raised. Various sources later confirmed that about 250 Ukrainian marines were taken prisoner.
“It makes no sense to leave soldiers on the battlefield. Locals in Mariupol have a negative disposition towards the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Biryukov said in the interview. “After considering all of that, the decision to withdraw was made.”
Biryukov said it was he who made the decision to surrender. “I thought about it for two days. One comrade said there was a chance to get out without loss,” Biryukov said.
When asked if he regrets his decision to surrender, Biryukov replied “no, because now everyone is alive”.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic claims to have captured about 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The Russian Defense Ministry said last week that 1,026 soldiers of the 36th Ukrainian Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, also surrendered.
Russian forces have surrounded Mariupol for days. The Russian Defense Ministry on April 16 set a deadline for Ukrainian soldiers and foreign mercenaries remaining in Mariupol to surrender, but Mariupol mayor advisor Petro Andriushchenko rejected the ultimatum and announced “continue to organize the defense “. Ukrainian forces are entrenched in the Azovstal steel plant, one of the largest metallurgical plants in Europe.
Mariupol, in the southern Donbass, is a strategic city on the Azov coast, a corridor on the junction connecting the Crimean peninsula with the breakaway region in eastern Ukraine. If this location is controlled, Russia will be able to connect the strategic corridor and completely block the gateway to the Sea of Azov of Ukraine.
Huyen Le (According to Sputnik)
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