According to British intelligence, up to 1,700 Azovstal defenders in Mariupol have surrendered to Russian forces as of today. It is not known how many more fighters remain on the territory of the plant.
This was reported by the British Ministry of Defense's Twitter.
"Up to 1,700 Ukrainian troops from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have probably surrendered. An unknown number of Ukrainian forces remain at the plant," the report said.
Note that the operation to rescue the wounded fighters continues since May 16. As part of the arrangements, the defenders of Mariupol are taken to the occupied territories with the provision of medical care. In the future it is planned to release them as part of the exchange of prisoners.
Earlier, analysts of the American Institute for the Study of War reported that Russia had agreed to evacuate Azovstal defenders in order to declare full control over Mariupol as soon as possible.
The Ukrainian side confirmed the withdrawal from Azovstal of about 260 fighters who needed medical assistance. There is no detailed information about the process, the official Kiev explains it by the fact that the negotiation process with the enemy is ongoing, and the disclosure of data could cost the lives of Mariupol defenders.
Also, the British Ministry of Defense believes that the Russian Federation will transfer forces to an offensive in Donbass after the final capture of Mariupol. If this is done without proper preparation, the depletion of Russian forces will continue.
"Once Russia captures Mariupol, it is likely that they will move their forces to reinforce operations in the Donbas," the report said.
Intelligence believes that Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol has resulted in Russian troops in the area having to be seriously re-equipped to redeploy effectively. And this could be a rather lengthy process.
"However, the Russian command is under pressure to achieve operational objectives. This means that Russia is likely to quickly redeploy its forces without proper preparation, which risks further attrition," the report said.
As a reminder, Russian troops try to break through the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on a daily basis, so far the offensive has managed to be contained. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the enemy has managed to occupy almost the entire Luhansk region, except for Severodonetsk, Lysychansk and a number of smaller settlements. In Donetsk region, the occupiers occupied the southern part of the region.