The commander of the Azov Regiment, Lt. Col. Denis Prokopenko, has issued a short video message from inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, APA reports citing CNN.
Prokopenko said that the top military leadership had "issued an order to preserve the garrison soldiers' life and health and stop defending the city."
The message implies that those remaining at Azovstal are planning to leave the plant in the near future. There are thought to be several hundred fighters left inside the sprawling complex.
Azovstal was the last holdout in otherwise Russian-occupied Mariupol and become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance .
Prokopenko added: "Despite heavy fighting ... and lack of supplies, we constantly emphasized the three most important conditions for us: civilians, wounded, and dead. Civilians were evacuated.