Women and mothers of Ukrainian soldiers thank Turkey

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Women and mothers of Ukrainian soldiers on Friday thanked Turkey for its humanitarian and diplomatic initiatives to get their fighting husbands and sons out of the Azovstal steel plant in the eastern city of Mariupol.

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In a hotel in Istanbul, a group of Ukrainian women, including wives and mothers, held a meeting for Ukrainian soldiers who were trapped by Russian forces in the factory.

The Ukrainian women emphasized that the Azovstal factory had become a symbol of the Ukrainian struggle and defense, expressing their pride in their husbands and sons soldiers inside the famous factory.

Natalia Zariska, the wife of one of the Ukrainian soldiers at the factory, said Turkey supports the Ukrainian people.

She explained that she took many opportunities and met with a number of Turkish officials, adding: “We thank Turkey, its leaders and people because Turkey supports the Ukrainian people.”

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Zariska indicated that she had telephoned her husband, a fighter, who told her that only 8 fighters were left alive out of a group that included 32 Ukrainian fighters in the factory.

In turn, Olga Kerod said that her combative husband is still inside the factory, noting that he may leave the besieged factory tomorrow, Saturday.

Kerod expressed her thanks for Turkey’s efforts to mediate between Russia and Ukraine to get the fighters out of the aforementioned factory.

On Thursday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov announced the surrender of 1,730 Ukrainian soldiers who were at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

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On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of “tight” economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.