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Mariupol mayor hails evacuated troops for defending Ukraine city

Boychenko accuses Russians of trying to conceal war crimes

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko speaks with Nikkei in an online interview on May 18. 

TOKYO -- The Ukrainian fighters being evacuated from a steel plant in Mariupol fulfilled their combat mission successfully, Mayor Vadym Boychenko told Nikkei in a virtual interview Wednesday as one of Europe's bloodiest battles since World War II comes to a close.

"The Mariupol fighters ... saved not only Mariupol city but Ukraine itself," Boychenko said, adding that the soldiers defended the city for 80 days.

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