Its deputy prime minister responded to Russia’s final warning to the Ukrainian media overnight from Sunday to Monday that “Ukraine will not lay down its arms and will not leave the besieged city of Mariupol.”
Read more: Live | 25th day of war in Ukraine
“There is no question of talking about surrender or laying down arms. We have already informed the Russian side about this, ”Irina Vareshchuk told the Ukrainian Pravda newspaper. “This is deliberate manipulation and real hostages,” he added.
The Russian Defense Ministry has called on Ukraine to “lay down its arms” and demand a “written response” to its final warning before 5am on Monday in the name of protecting the citizens and infrastructure of the city of Mariupol.
“We call on the official authorities in Kiev to be fair and to rescind the previously issued instructions, which forced the militants to sacrifice themselves and become martyrs of Mariupol,” said Mikhail Mijintsev, director of the Russian Defense Management Center. An explanation issued by the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
“Put your hands down,” he said. “A terrible humanitarian catastrophe has occurred (…) ensuring that all those who lay down their arms can leave Mariupol with complete security.”
According to Mizintsev, residents of Mariupol, Russia and Ukraine agreed on March 21 a way to reach the Kiev-controlled territory. “Russia opens humanitarian corridors east of Mariupol from 10 a.m. (…) Moscow time, and westward in agreement with the Ukrainian side,” he said. Mijintsev described.
The Russian Defense Ministry spoke to officials in Mariupol in the evening by telegram: “You face (a) historic choice – either you are with your people or you are with the criminals”.
“The occupiers continue to behave like terrorists,” Irina Vereshchuk replied in a telegram. “They say they agree to establish a humanitarian route, and in the morning they bomb the evacuation site. The government is doing everything it can. The most important thing for us is to protect the lives and health of our citizens.”
Mariupol, a major Russian-speaking port in the southeast, was one of the main targets of Moscow’s attacks.
Bodies are strewn on the city streets, while negotiations between the delegations continue without a definitive conclusion for the time being.