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The bodies of Azovstal warriors were brought back to be reunited with their families

The bodies of Azovstal warriors were brought back to reunite with their families - Photo 1.

A Ukrainian soldier at the Azovstal steel plant (Image: Getty)

Azovstal, a large industrial area with a network of underground tunnels, has been under attack by Russian forces for weeks, trapping many people below.

Russia’s military announced on June 7 that it had handed over to Kiev 210 bodies of Ukrainian soldiers, most of whom were killed fighting with Russian forces at the Azovstal factory in the city of Mariupol. The Ukrainian side also confirmed this information.

In a Telegram post, the families of the dead soldiers said “the bodies of Azovstal’s defenders” had arrived in Kiev.

The identification process is ongoing and could take up to three months.

In May 2022, the survivors of Azovstal were taken prisoner after Russia took over the steel plant. More than 1,000 Ukrainian troops detained in Mariupol are believed to have been sent to Russia.

Russia’s state news agency Itar-Tass reported, citing a law enforcement source, that the soldiers were being transferred to Russia for investigation after being detained in various areas controlled by Moscow. in eastern Ukraine.

The source claims that there will be more prisoner transfers, although this claim has not been corroborated by Ukrainian sources.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also noted that more than 2,500 Azovstal defenders, including territorial guards, police and border guards, are being held in Russia.

Earlier, Kiev stated that Mariupol’s last defenders were ordered by their superiors to save their own lives after achieving their goal of stopping Russian forces and keeping Moscow’s army from deploying. deployed in other battlefields across the country.

Meanwhile, Moscow believes that Russia forced the Ukrainian army to surrender.

In the battle for Mariupol, Ukrainian officials estimate tens of thousands of people were killed, including children. They also warn of an outbreak of cholera, a bacterial disease that spreads through contaminated water after bodies are buried under rubble and sewage enters the supply system.

If Russia achieves its next goal of capturing Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, it will control the Lugansk region. This result is considered to be a big victory for the Kremlin and President Vladimir Putin.

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