Institute for War Studies: Kremlin Could Agree to Evacuate Azovstal Defenders to Declare Russian-Controlled Mariupol

Anna Kholodnova

The Russian authorities could agree to the evacuation of Azovstal defenders in exchange for the announcement of Mariupol completely under Russian control.

This was reported by the American Institute for War Studies.

It is also noted that the Kremlin could agree to such an agreement to secure a victory, to divert criticism on social media about the failed crossing of the Seversky Donets River and the generally slow pace of Russiaʼs seizure of Ukraine.

According to the Main Directorate of Military Intelligence of Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry is hastily preparing a press tour of foreign journalists in the occupied territories of Ukraine from 18 to 21 May.

In the future, Moscow may refuse to exchange defenders of Mariupol, analysts add. Some deputies of the Russian State Duma are in favor of passing laws banning the participation in the exchange of prisoners of persons accused of "Nazism".

The Kremlin may ignore the concerns of State Duma deputies or use them to sabotage talks with Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War.