Azov militants describe conditions in the Russian internment camp after the surrender

Ukrainian soldiers have spoken out about the conditions they are experiencing at a Russian detention center after they surrendered at the besieged Azovstal plant earlier this week.

On April 19, Russian troops stormed the Azovstal iron and steel plant in the city of Mariupol for the first time, destroying large areas.

The Azov Battalion, a unit of the Ukrainian National Guard based in Mariupol, remained at the plant to resist.

Azov soldiers surrender in Mariupol
The withdrawal of militants from Azov in Mariupol, Ukraine, on May 18.
Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger

However, after weeks of siege by Russian forces, the unit suffered from serious shortages and lacked basic necessities such as bandages to treat its many wounded.

As a result, around 1,000 Ukrainian fighters surrendered at the Azovstal plant this week.

The Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) said in a May 18 statement: “In Mariupol, fighters from the Azov nationalist unit and Ukrainian soldiers holed up at the Azovstal plant continue to surrender.

“In the last 24 hours, 694 militants laid down their arms and surrendered, including 29 wounded.

“A total of 959 militants have surrendered since May 16, including 80 wounded, 51 required urgent hospital treatment and were admitted to the Novoazovsk Hospital in the Donetsk People’s Republic.”

Wounded Azov soldiers in the Russian hospital
Wounded Ukrainian soldiers from Azovstal are seen at the Novoazovsk hospital in the Donetsk People’s Republic after they surrendered earlier this week.
Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger

Ukrainian fighter Pryashchenko Stanislav recounted the treatment he received from his Russian captors.

In the recordings he can be heard saying: “Today they took us to the dining room. We had soup in the morning. At noon there was also soup and porridge.

“We haven’t had dinner yet, we’re still waiting. So we have beds, mattresses. Everything is as it should be. Blankets, pillows, everything is there, sheets.

“Here are the beds, we have mattresses, blankets. We have enough beds for everyone.”

Stanislav added: “We have wounded here. We are now waiting for the doctor, they promised to come immediately to change the bandage.”

Junior Sergeant Slivak Sergey Evgenievich, 30, of the 57th National Guard, said: “The treatment is better than I expected, I have a blanket, a mattress. The food is sufficient, there is enough to eat. Otherwise the conditions here are good.”

Ukrainian prisoners of war in custody
Ukrainian prisoners of war are seen in custody in Yelenovka, Russia, after they surrendered at the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol earlier this week.
Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger

Surgeon Yuri Zayduk, lieutenant in the medical service, said: “I really didn’t know what to expect. In general, what I wanted, what turned out to be better than I expected.

“Everything is fine, I have no complaints, everyone is respectful, appropriate. Nobody insults us here, nobody insults us, sure.

“They helped my colleagues, I was assured that everything was fine. Most of the badly wounded soldiers were evacuated, at least during my first time with me.

“It was fine, they did the bandages. I hope that this treatment will continue there.”

After the fall of Mariupol, Russian authorities plan to demolish the Azovstal Metallurgical Plant and turn the city into a “resort,” according to the Institute for the Study of War.

The Kremlin also says the Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal plant were taken to a former prison colony in a Russian-controlled part of Donetsk.

The Russian Defense Ministry said 771 Ukrainian fighters from the steel mill had surrendered by May 19, bringing the total to 1,730, and 80 of the fighters were wounded.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News. Azov militants describe conditions in the Russian internment camp after the surrender

Rick Schindler

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