Setback for Zelensky as Russia Forces Surrender of More Than 1,000 Ukrainian Marines in Mariupol

Russia's defence ministry has said more than 1,000 Ukrainian marines have surrendered in Mariupol. Russian television channel Rossiya-24 released pictures from Illich Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol that show severely injured marines apparently giving themselves up.

There is still no word from the Ukrainian President Zelenskiy's office regarding the matter. The defence ministry spokesperson also could neither comment on nor confirm the claim.

Mariupol, which is now being referred to as 'the second Aleppo', has been at the centre of focus of the Russian Military. After the incessant bombings and constant shelling, which led to the death of thousands of people, the city appears gutted and destroyed.

The Russian Defence Ministry says that 1026 soldiers of Ukraine's 36th Marine Brigade have surrendered. The statement was made on 13 April and was backed by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a fervid supporter of the Russian President Putin. The General said that more than a thousand marines have indeed surrendered. He went on to urge the remaining forces sheltering in Azovstal steel mill to do the same.

"Within Azovstal at the moment there are about 200 wounded who cannot receive any medical assistance, for them and all the rest it would be better to end this pointless resistance and go home to their families", Kadyrov said in a Telegram post.

A billowing fire was also observed from the Azovstal district on Tuesday by the Reuters journalists accompanying Russian – backed separatists in Mariupol. The Ukraine's general staff in its morning report proclaimed just the next day that the Russian forces were proceeding with attacks on the port as well as on Azovstal.

It is, however, not clear if the videos that originally spread the news about the marines giving themselves up are verified.

If the surrender indeed took place, it is going be a major blow to the Ukrainians trying to hold off the Russian assault on Mariupol. The setback for Ukraine will help Russia take complete control over the Azovstal industrial district. It will also give them easy access to Russian held areas in the west and east in addition to a land corridor for their troops and supplies.