Kremlin says 694 Ukrainian fighters from Azovstal plant have surrendered; UK says Russia facing ‘resourcing problems’
Russia’s defence ministry said 694 Ukrainian fighters who had been under siege at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol had surrendered over the last 24 hours.
The Russians claim 959 combatants have surrendered in total at Azovstal since Monday, and that 80 of those who surrendered were wounded, of whom 51 have been taken to hospital. The numbers have not been independently verified.
Denis Pushilin, the head of the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk, has told local media that a court will decide the fate of the Ukrainian fighters who surrendered at Azovstal.
Russia claims 270 Ukrainian fighters were killed and “54 units of military equipment were disabled” overnight. It also claimed to have shot down two planes and 15 drones.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said it neutralised 685 explosive devices on Ukrainian soil on Tuesday.
The latest intelligence update from the UK’s Ministry of Defence highlights Russia’s “significant resourcing problems in Ukraine”, which it says “is likely contributing to a disunited command which continues to hamper Russia’s operations”.
Vadim Shishimarin, 21, will appear at Kyiv’s Solomyansky district court from 2pm local time charged with war crimes and premeditated murder over the death of a 62-year-old man in north-east Ukraine on 28 February.
The international criminal court on Tuesday sent a 42-member team to Ukraine to investigate alleged war crimes since the Russian invasion, in what it called the largest such deployment in its history.
The US will create a new unit to research, document and publicise alleged war crimes by Russia in Ukraine. The Conflict Observatory will “capture, analyse and make widely available evidence of Russia-perpetrated war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine,” the US state department said.
The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said there was no movement in peace talks with Ukraine, and claimed Kyiv was showing a total unwillingness to continue them.
The UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has said the UK is open to the idea of an international criminal tribunal trying Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders over the war.
Austria’s foreign minister, Alexander Schallenberg, told the German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that his country would stay militarily neutral. “The situation for us looks a little different,” he said when asked about Sweden and Finland applying to join Nato.