Mariupol, May 18 - DAN. Top commanders holed up at the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol have not surrendered yet,  the DPR Head Denis Pushilin said.

"Currently, there are no top-rank commander (among the surrendered), they have not left (Azovstal)," he said.

Almost a thousand of Ukrainian militants at the Azovstal steel works have laid down arms, the DPR Territorial Defence HQ said earlier.

Mass surrender in Mariupol began on May 16 when the first group of Ukrainian militants decided to leave their besieged base at the Azovstal steel works.

Back in April, Russian President Vladimir Putin called off plans for the Russian military to storm the sprawling Azovstal steel plant, and ordered to seal it off.

Soon after, humanitarian efforts to evacuate the population of nearby neighbourhoods began.

Many of the armed men who set up positions at the Azovstal are members of a Neo-Nazi Azov armed formation (banned in the DPR). *ot