Donetsk People's Republic's (DPR) head Denis Pushilin said that Ukrainian fighters were found in the dungeons of Azovstal in Mariupol. At the moment, it is not clear whether they were deliberately hiding or lagged behind their colleagues, who had already surrendered to Russia.
Those who can still remain in the Azovstal catacombs cannot be underestimated, says military expert, retired special forces officer Anatoly Matveychuk.
“They were so mired in war crimes that they were simply afraid to go out. This is such an animal fear,” the expert says in an interview with MK.
Matveychuk believes that the Ukrainian military will still be found in the process of cleaning up the plant:
“They have hid in their holes and are unlikely to show a willingness to come out themselves. We will find them dressed in Ukrainian military uniforms to pass themselves off as ordinary militants, and in civilian clothes. They will try in every possible way to escape retribution.”
The officer explained that soldiers who have military cards fall under the concept of prisoners of war and combatants, and the Geneva and Hague Protocols do not apply to them. And the militants of Azov* fall under a different concept - war criminals, to whom the norms governing relations with prisoners of war do not apply, which means that the attitude will be tougher.
Matveychuk warns that those who hide in the dungeons of Azovstal are capable of anything, despite the fact that their stocks of weapons are running out.
"They can throw a grenade, they can shoot, stab. Anything. They are hunted down and will defend their worthless lives," the expert summed up.
*Azov is a Ukrainian nationalist battalion whose activities are recognized as extremist and terrorist and banned in the Russian Federation.
NATO has no plans to deploy troops on the Ukrainian territory, Jens Stoltenberg said. French President Emmanuel Macron earlier did not rule out a possibility to send Western military forces there