Russia posts video of Azovstal fighters in hospital after surrender

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Buses carrying service members of Ukrainian forces who have surrendered after weeks holed up at Azovstal steel works drive away under escort of the pro-Russian military in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

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May 18 (Reuters) - Russia's defence ministry posted videos on Wednesday of what it said were Ukrainian fighters receiving hospital treatment after surrendering at the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol.

In one video, a group of men were shown lying on beds in a room, and two spoke briefly to camera. One said he had access to food and doctors, while the second said he had been bandaged and had no complaints about his treatment.

In a second video, a man with a head wound said he was being well fed and looked after, and was not under any physical or psychological pressure.

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It was not possible to establish if the men were speaking freely.

Russia said earlier that a total of 959 Azovstal fighters had surrendered since Monday, including 80 wounded men who were being treated at Novoazovsk in the breakaway Donetsk republic.

Ukrainian officials have halted all public discussion of the fate of fighters who had made their last stand at Azovstal, holding out for many weeks in its tunnels and bunkers in the face of heavy Russian bombardment.

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Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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