New Territorial Defense Members Train in Kyiv

Territorial defense members train in Kyiv, May 21, 2022, as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia rages on.

READ MORE: Russia claimed Friday to have captured Ukraine's southern port city of Mariupol, after the last Ukrainian fighters holed up in the city's steelworks plant surrendered.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin that both the Azovstal steel plant and the city had been "fully liberated," according to a statement by Russia's Defense Ministry.

There was no immediate confirmation from Ukraine that Mariupol was fully under Russian control.

The port city is the scene of the war's bloodiest siege, with Russian forces having bombarded it for nearly three months. Much of Mariupol has been reduced to rubble, and more than 20,000 civilians are feared dead.

Ukrainian fighters hiding out in the city's steelworks plant had been engaged in heavy fighting with Russian forces for several weeks. Earlier this week, however, Ukrainian officials ordered the garrison to stand down to save the fighters' lives.

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