On May 16, 53 seriously wounded defenders were evacuated from Azovstal to a medical facility in Novoazovsk for medical care. Another 211 people were taken to Yelenivka via a humanitarian corridor.
This became known from the speech of the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar.
In order for the fighters to be able to return home, an exchange procedure will be carried out.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the beginning of the operation to rescue Ukrainian soldiers from Azovstal.
"Not an easy day. But this day, as well as all others, is aimed at keeping our country and our people safe. Thanks to the actions of the Ukrainian military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, intelligence, as well as the negotiation team, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN, we have hope that it will be possible to save the lives of our guys. I want to stress: Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle. I think that every adequate person will understand these words," the Head of State said in his video message.
It should be noted that the settlements of Yelenivka and Novoazovsk, to which the military from Azovstal were delivered, are located in the temporarily occupied territory of the Donetsk region.
On the territory of the plant "Azovstal" remain Ukrainian military, the operation to save them will continue, said the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
"About the defenders who remain on the territory of "Azovstal". Joint efforts of the above-mentioned departments are carried out rescue measures," - said Anna Malyar.
She noted that thanks to the defenders of Mariupol, we were able to gain critical time to form reserves, regroup forces and obtain assistance from partners.