Over 1,000 Ukrainian troops, including women, surrender in Mariupol, claims Russia
- Ukraine is has not responded to the alleged mass surrender. However, Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych informed on Twitter that elements of the 36th Marine Brigade had managed to link up with other forces in the city due to a “risky maneuver”.
Russia said on Wednesday more than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered in the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol. In a statement, Russian defence ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said as many as 1,026 troops from the Ukrainian 36th Marine Brigade surrendered at a metal plant in the Ukrainian city.
Konashenkov added that these troops included 162 officers and 47 women personnel, and that a total of 151 wounded were given medical treatment.
Ukraine is yet to comment on the alleged mass surrender, according to foreign news agencies. However, Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych took to Twitter earlier today to say that elements of the 36th Marine Brigade had managed to link up with other forces - Azov regiment, in the city due to a “risky manoeuvre”.
“Let's not lose. The army known what it's doing,” Arestovych's tweet, roughly translated to English, read.
According to Russian news agency (TASS), head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov has called on Ukrainian servicemen to follow the example of Mariupol troops and surrender. In his Telegram channel, he said the actions of the Kyiv regime under Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, make it “perfectly clear” that it does not treat Donbas residents “as humans”.
“In reality, (Kyiv politicians) care neither for Ukraine, nor for Ukrainian people because it is an alien country and alien people for them,” the Crimea head added.
Meanwhile, during an address to Baltic nation Estonia's parliament earlier in the day, Zelensky claimed that Russia was using phosphorus bombs in Ukraine, accusing Moscow of adopting terror tactics against civilians. He further stated that instruments were required to be found to put pressure on Russia to stop forcibly deporting Ukrainians, and reiterated his call for imposing more sanctions against the country.
Zelensky's claim comes a day after US secretary of state Antony Blinken said that Washington has “credible information” that Russia “may use…chemical agents” in its offensive in Mariupol. Blinken, however, added that the US is “not in a position to confirm” reports that Russia has already used chemical weapons in the besieged Ukrainian port city.
The Ukrainian president's address to the Estonia parliament comes on a day when his counterparts of all three Baltic countries - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and Poland are headed to Kyiv to meet him.
"We are visiting Ukraine to show strong support to the Ukrainian people, will meet dear friend, President Zelensky,“ Estonian President Alar Karis tweeted.
Besides Karis, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Latvia's Egils Levits, and Gitanas Nauseda of Lithuania are on the trip to the Ukrainian capital.
China's embassy in New Zealand rebuked New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for comments she made at the NATO summit about Chinese assertiveness, calling them "misguided" and "wrong". Ardern said on Wednesday in Madrid that China has "in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms." New Zealand, which is heavily reliant on China for trade, has often shied away from direct criticism of Beijing.
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Judges in Florida and Kentucky on Thursday moved to block those states from enforcing bans or restrictions on abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court last week overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had established a nationwide right to it. In Kentucky, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the state from enforcing a ban passed in 2019 and triggered by the Supreme Court's decision.
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The court’s decision confirms a wider reset underway in American jurisprudence, nearly a week after the court, first, narrowed the ability of states to impose restrictions on carrying guns in public, and then, overturned Roe v Wade which enshrined access to abortion as a constitutional right, leaving it up to the states to decide.