It's impossible to unblock the "Azovstal" plant by military means, so the occupiers were offered a swap under "standard rules".
Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk reported that on her Telegram.
"The defenders of the "Azovstal" refuse to surrender. It commands respect," – Vereshchuk highlighted.
According to her, russian occupiers don't agree to the extraction procedure. This is reality, but it's not strange for russians," – the Deputy Minister added.
As Vereshchuk said, in this situation, the government "is exploring different options. None of them is perfect. But we're looking for an option that works. not a perfect one".
"As a first step, we offered russians this swap: we evacuate our severely injured guys from the "Azovstal" through a humanitarian corridor. In return, we would give them the captured russians," – Vereshchuk wrote.
She added that "there's no agreement yet. The negotiations are in the process".
Today the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that the operation to unblock the "Azovstal" will require a significant amount of troops and can lead to losses.
Meanwhile, the relatives of the troops who keep defending Mariupol addressed the International Committee of Red Cross calling for help in the evacuation of the wounded soldiers.
The Mariupol mayor's adviser published a video of a black smoke pillar rising above the "Azovstal".