Kyiv, June 7 (EFE).- More than 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who defended the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol are in Russian captivity, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.
However, Zelenskyy said it was difficult to precisely say how many Ukrainians were in the Russian captivity from the steel factory that suffered weeks of Russian blockade and bombings before Russia seized the sprawling plant in the ruined coastal city.
A reporter asked the president if Russia held more than 2,000-2,500 Azovstal Ukrainian fighters.
“It is difficult to say more precisely. It is not the number of people who left Azovstal when we, our side, were involved in this process,” he replied, as reported by the official Ukrinform news agency.
“I think there are more (than 2,000-2,500),” he said.
Zelenskyy said the head of the Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine was currently working on releasing the Ukrainian soldiers.
He said that he could not offer more details on that.
Zelenskyy said the Russians were not torturing Ukrainians from Azovstal because it was not in their interest for them to do so as “our fighters have already become public figures.”
The Ukrainian army has defended the city on the shores of the Sea of Azov for more than 80 days.
The evacuation of Ukrainian soldiers who had taken refuge in the plant began on May 16 and lasted several days. EFE