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Red Cross documenting Ukraine prisoners of war from Mariupol plant

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Red Cross documenting Ukraine prisoners of war from Mariupol plant
A destroyed vehicle is seen near a makeshift bridge in a small town east of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Monday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

May 19 (UPI) -- Humanitarian and Russian officials said Thursday that hundreds more Ukrainian troops have come out of a steel plant in Mariupol to surrender.

Russian defense officials said roughly 1,700 troops have surrendered so far this week, and the International Committee of the Red Cross said it has begun to document them as prisoners of war. Some of the Ukrainian fighters were treated for wounds.

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Ukrainian military officials have said the troops' mission at the steel plant is finished.

The troops are believed to be among the last at the Mariupol plant, where Ukrainian forces and civilians resisted Russian troops for weeks. Most of the civilians were evacuated last week.

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"The registration process that the ICRC facilitated involves the individual filling out a form with personal details like name, date of birth and closest relative," the Red Cross said in a statement. "This information allows [us] to track those who have been captured and help them keep in touch with their families."

Thursday began the 12th week of fighting across Ukraine.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said a cease-fire won't be possible as long as Russian troops remain in the country.

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"Until Ukraine is ready to fully liberate occupied territories, our negotiating team is weapons, sanctions and money," Podolyak said in a tweet.

Officials said Ukrainian residents in Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, started to emerge from hiding on Thursday after forces pushed out Russian troops earlier this month. Kharkiv and its surrounding villages were heavily attacked by Russia before Ukraine started a counterattack to regain control.

Fighting continued in the eastern Donetsk region, where Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said several civilians, including two children, were killed Wednesday during a Russian military offensive.

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British intelligence said that Russian Lt. Gen. Serhiy Kisel, who commanded the elite 1st Guards Tank Army, has been suspended for failing to capture Kharkiv.

British intelligence reports also added that Russian Vice Adm. Igor Osipov, who commanded Russia's Black Sea Fleet, has been suspended following the sinking of the Moscow's prized war cruiser Moskva by the Ukrainians in April.

Ukrainians return to towns around Kharkiv after Russian retreat

A local woman walks down a dirt road on Monday as life tries to return to normal after Russian shelling hit the small town of Biskvitne, Ukraine, east of Kharkiv. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

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