(Reuters) – Nearly 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers who were holed up at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, southeastern Ukraine, have surrendered so far, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday. quoted by the TASS news agency.
Reuters has not been able to independently verify this information.
Estimates of the number of Ukrainian fighters who surrendered to Azovstal, a vast industrial complex crossed by underground galleries, differ according to Moscow and Kyiv, which reports evacuations.
On Thursday, British military intelligence said some 1,700 troops were likely to have surrendered, an estimate that matched the number put forward by Moscow.
Ukrainian authorities, who are trying to organize a prisoner exchange, declined to comment on the toll, saying it could jeopardize relief efforts.
(Reuters report, French version Lou Phily, edited by Kate Entringer)
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