Russia has said it has taken control of the entire urban area of Mariupol city, where intense fighting has been going on. The Russian military said the strategically important city has been cleared of Ukrainian Armed Forces and foreign mercenaries.
The Ukrainian forces that still resist Russian military have been blocked inside the Azovstal iron and steel works plants, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
1,464 Ukrainian Soldiers Surrender
According to the Russian ministry, 1,464 Ukrainian servicemen have also laid down their weapons.
Earlier on Friday, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry had the fighting was still on and the Russians had not gained control of the besieged city. "The Russian Army is constantly recruiting additional units to storm the city, and as of now there are active battles near the Ilyich plant and in the port zone of Mariupol," Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokesman Olexandr Motuzyanyksaid on Friday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned Russia that the killing of his troops in Mariupol would close off the road to peace negotiations with Moscow.
Russia's victory in Mariupol has not been independently verified yet, but the claim indicates that only small pockets of resistance remain in Mariupol.
Ultimatum for Remaining Troops
"The entire urban area of ââMariupol has been completely cleared ... remnants of the Ukrainian group are currently completely blockaded on the territory of the Azovstal metallurgical plant," Konashenkov said.
"Their only chance to save their lives is to voluntarily lay down their arms and surrender," the Russian defence ministry's chief spokesman added, according to Al Jazeera.
Russia has also asked the remaining Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms, the Tass news agency reported. They have been given an ultimatum to surrender by 6am Moscow time (03:00 GMT).