“Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy on evacuation of Azovstal defenders
“I’d like to emphasize: Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle. I think that every adequate person will understand these words,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
The operation to rescue Mariupol defenders was started by the Ukrainian military and intelligence operatives, the president explained, adding that “to bring our boys home,” the operation requires “delicacy” and “time.”
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine recalled that 53 severely wounded servicemen had been evacuated to a medical facility in Novoazovsk, and another 211 defenders were taken to Olenivka through a humanitarian corridor. They will undergo a POW exchange procedure to be returned to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government.
According to a report by Reuters, dozens of buses were seen driving out of the Azovstal premises, presumably carrying Ukrainian servicemen.