Ukraine war situation report – day 84
May 18, 2022 - Concerns are growing for the welfare of more than 260 Ukrainian fighters who surrendered to Russian forces at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol after weeks of desperate resistance.
Ukraine says all those being evacuated from the Mariupol steelworks will be swapped for Russian prisoners of war, but the parliament in Moscow is sending out a different signal, with the speaker saying “Nazi criminals” should not be exchanged.
The battle for the city appears to be over after a devastating siege that lasted nearly three months.
The fall of Mariupol would give Russia a land bridge to Crimea and control of the Sea of Azov, cutting off Ukraine's maritime trade.