(CNN) – Ukrainian forces have completed their “combat mission” in Mariupol, according to a statement by the country’s military, bringing the months-long battle for the besieged city close to an end. Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar described the evacuation operation in a separate video statement, noting that some Ukrainian forces remain at Azovstal. According to Malyar, the defense of Mariupol meant Russian forces were not able to transfer about 20,000 personnel to other regions of Ukraine, and thus failed to capture Zaporizhzhia. But Ukrainian fighters in the city had, in April, vowed to “fight until the end,” despite being surrounded, low on ammunition and outnumbered by Russian forces. The country’s Azov Regiment on Monday also issued a statement saying “the entire Mariupol garrison” was following orders to save lives.
Source: Egypt Independent May 18, 2022 20:05 UTC