The Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Iryna Vereshchuk, reported on Monday that her government rejected the Russian proposal to lay down arms in the port city of Mariupol to establish a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of civilians, and the safe exit of those soldiers who hand over their weapons. .
Russia announces opening of humanitarian corridors in the east and west of Mariupol
Vereschuk told local media that “we cannot talk about handing over weapons. We have already reported this to the Russian side,” while he called Moscow’s demands a real hostage situation.
Previously, Moscow had sent a letter to the highest Ukrainian authorities on Sunday demanding an end to the humanitarian crisis in that city through the laying down of arms by the nationalists.
�������� Ukraine has informed Russia that they will not hand over Mariupol and that their forces will not surrender. https://t.co/ThTyxMLwvb
— Deciphering the War (@descifraguerra)
March 21, 2022
In this regard, the head of the Russian National Center for Defense Management, Mikhail Mizintsev, stressed that “we insist on the official response of the Ukrainian side in writing before 05:00 on March 21, to all the evacuation proposals listed for their country, purely human and aimed at saving the inhabitants of Mariupol and the city’s infrastructure”.
To which he added a call to “the official authorities in kyiv to be prudent and to cancel the previous instructions that forced the militants to sacrifice themselves and become ‘martyrs of Mariupol’.
In this regard, the senior military official urged the nationalists, as well as the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the so-called Territorial Defense to lay down their arms and leave the city for the territory controlled by kyiv. “All those who have laid down their arms are guaranteed a safe exit from Mariupol and the preservation of their lives,” he said.
According to estimates by the Russian defense portfolio, some 130,000 civilians and 184 foreign citizens are currently in that city immersed in the humanitarian crisis, and are being held “hostage” by the nationalists.
Therefore, the high official explained that as of 09:00 this Monday, humanitarian corridors will be opened in an east and west direction, in mutual agreement with the Ukrainian authorities.
To which Mízintsev added that the ceasefire will become effective only after all the parties involved in the conflict confirm through communication channels their willingness to execute it.
Likewise, Mizintsev also addressed the self-appointed representatives of the local authorities of Mariupol, who “are under complete control of nationalist battalions”, and demanded that they choose whether they are with their people or with the bandits.
“Otherwise, the court-martial that awaits them is just a little bit of what they deserve for their despicable attitude towards their own citizens, as well as for the terrible crimes and provocations they have carried out: attacks on a kindergarten, two schools, a maternity hospital, a theater building, and many more,” he said.