New Delhi: A Russian legislator has said the country should consider death penalty for Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered Monday after long defending Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant.
After the surrender, legislator Leonid Slutsky told parliament that Russia should “think carefully” about capital punishment for the Azov fighters.
Slutsky said: “They do not deserve to live after the monstrous crimes against humanity that they have committed and that are committed continuously against our prisoners.”
Russia, at present, has a moratorium on the death penalty.
Over 250 Ukrainian soldiers surrendered Monday from the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, which had become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance under relentless Russian fire.
Over 50 among them were seriously wounded and are being treated in the Russian-controlled Donetsk region.
Ukraine’s military command said Monday that the “combat mission” in Mariupol had ended. The military chiefs ordered Azovstal commanders to save the lives of their personnel.
In his nightly address on Monday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called it a “difficult” day.
“Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle. I think that every reasonable person will understand these words,” Zelenskyy said.
Russian news agency TASS reported that an agreement had been reached Monday to extract wounded Ukrainian military personnel from the plant.
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irena Vereshchuk said Tuesday that the country hoped to carry out a prisoner exchange for the Ukrainian wounded soldiers.
Vereshchuk said: “In the interests of saving lives, 52 of our severely wounded servicemen were evacuated yesterday. After their condition stabilises, we will exchange them for Russian prisoners of war. We are working on the next stages of the humanitarian operation.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine has suspended any attempt to negotiate with Russia on resolving the conflict.
Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Russia has failed to understand “processes in the world today and their negative role”.
He told Ukrainian television that since the two delegations met in Istanbul, there were no “significant changes, no progress”.
CNN quoted him as saying: “The resistance of Ukraine, the professional resistance just grows, that’s why there’s no way Russia achieves its goals.”
Podolyak also said Ukraine would not make any territorial concessions. “The war will not end if we give some of our territories there. This is not acceptable for Ukraine, and it will not be accepted by Ukrainian society.”