MOSCOW, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday that over 1,900 Ukrainian soldiers trapped at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol have surrendered.
"Nationalists trapped inside the plant are actively surrendering. To date, 1,908 people have laid down their arms," Shoigu said at a meeting of the Defense Ministry Board.
"Civilians held by Ukrainian nationalists have been evacuated from the plant, 177 people have been rescued, including 85 women and 47 children," he added.
Shoigu noted that Russia's armed forces were doing everything to prevent civilian deaths, adding that humanitarian corridors were operating permanently.
More than 1.37 million people have been evacuated to Russia since the beginning of the country's special military operation in Ukraine, said the defense minister. ■