Ukraine strikes deal to evacuate around 50 wounded fighters from Mariupol Azovstal factory

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A senior Ukrainian official tells Fox News Monday that an agreement has been reached to evacuate around 50 wounded soldiers from the Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol to Russian-controlled territories. 

The official did not reveal where the fighters are heading, only saying they are not going to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 

But Russia’s Defense Ministry said “a humanitarian corridor has been opened through which wounded Ukrainian servicemen are being taken to a medical facility in Novoazovsk,” according to Reuters. 

In this photo provided by Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office, Azov Special Forces Regiment's servicemen, injured during fighting against Russian forces, pose for a photographer inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Tuesday. 

In this photo provided by Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office, Azov Special Forces Regiment’s servicemen, injured during fighting against Russian forces, pose for a photographer inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, on Tuesday. 
(Dmytro ‘Orest’ Kozatskyi/Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard Press Office via AP)

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“An agreement has been reached on the removal of the wounded,” it added. 

On Sunday, Natalia Zaritskaya, the wife of a member of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion – which is defending the steel factory – said the soldiers “are in hell” and that “they receive new wounds every day.” 

Smoke rises from the Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol on Thursday, May 5. 

Smoke rises from the Azovstal steel factory in Mariupol on Thursday, May 5. 
(AP Photo )

“They are without legs or arms, exhausted, without medicines,” she also said, according to Reuters. 

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This frame taken from an undated video provided Sunday, May 1, by the Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard shows people climbing over debris at the Azovstal steel plant, in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine. 

This frame taken from an undated video provided Sunday, May 1, by the Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard shows people climbing over debris at the Azovstal steel plant, in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine. 
(Azov Special Forces Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard via AP, File)

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said earlier this month that the humanitarian mission in Mariupol had been “completed” and that all women, children and elderly civilians had been pulled from the Azovstal steel plant. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has lasted 82 days. 

Fox News’ NaNa Sajaia and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report. 

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