‘Influential international mediators’ attempt to save Azovstal fighters

Hardliners in Russia are calling for the death penalty for the Azovstal soldiers, who have been portrayed as Nazis by the Kremlin to justify the invasion.

The Ukrainian soldiers evacuated from the last stand of Mariupol’s steelworks should be executed, Russian MPs and former military commanders said as they urged Vladimir Putin to tear up plans for a prisoner swap.

Leonid Slutsky, a prominent Russian MP, said: “In case their horrendous crimes against humanity are proven, I would like to revive my idea to lift the moratorium on capital punishment in Russia and let the court consider using it.”

Margarita Simonyan, head of Russia’s RT news channel, on Tuesday quoted sources saying that the Azovstal fighters had been taken to a Russian jail. 

The fall of Mariupol represents a rare victory for Putin after scaling back his invasion and suffering losses in the eastern Donbas region. However, it has come at a huge cost to resources.

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