Over 260 Ukrainian soldiers evacuated from Azovstal plant

Kiev, May 17 (IANS) More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers have been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said on Tuesday.

Malyar said that 53 seriously wounded soldiers were evacuated from Azovstal to a healthcare facility in Novoazovsk for treatment, while 211 other troops were taken to the Olenivka through the humanitarian corridor, reports Xinhua news agency.

Later, the Ukrainian soldiers will be exchanged for the captured Russians, Malyar said.

The operation to evacuate the Ukrainian military from the Azovstal steel plant is continuing, the press service of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Facebook.

Mariupol, a key Azov Sea port city in eastern Ukraine, has witnessed one of the worst bouts of violence in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

The Azovstal plant, which covers an area of about 11 square km, is the last holdout of the Ukrainian forces in Mariupol.