Russia is demanding that Ukrainians in the besieged city of Mariupol lay down their weapons on Monday in exchange for free rent outside the city, but Ukraine rejects the offer.
Colonel Mikhail Mizintsev of the Russian Defense Ministry called on the Ukrainian opposition in Mariupol to lay down their arms, it was reported. Reuters.
“Anyone who lays down their weapons is guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol,” Mizintsev says, adding that humanitarian corridors outside Mariupol will open from 7-9 local time on Monday morning.
The Russian Defense Ministry has given Ukraine until Monday at 4.00 Norwegian time (05.00 local time) for the delivery of Mariupol.
refuses the offer
On Monday night, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Irina Vereshuk, replied that there was no room for surrender.
– We have already informed Russia of this, according to the newspaper Ukrainian Pravda.
The Russian army sent an eight-page letter to the Ukrainian side. Vereshuk says she responded briefly with her demands that Russia open a humanitarian corridor “instead of wasting time on an eight-page letter”.
Previous attempts to evacuate residents from Mariupol and other cities were only partially successful, and the bombing continued as civilians fled.
Mariupol city council on Saturday accused Russia of moving thousands of civilians, especially women and children, to Russia against its will. Among other things, The Guardian spoke to civilians from the city who spoke of the kidnapping of neighbors and friends.
important coastal city
The city is strategically located on the coast connecting the breakaway region of Donbass with the Crimea. The two areas have been under Russian control since 2014. Now Russian forces are working to create a land corridor between two areas they already control.
Attack the art school
Earlier Sunday, Ukrainian authorities said that Russian forces had bombed an art school in Mariupol. President Volodymyr Zelensky says that about 400 civilians have taken refuge in the art school.
– They are under the rubble, and we do not know how many of them survived, he said in a video speech in the early hours of Monday morning. But we know we will definitely shoot down the pilot who dropped the bomb, as we did with about 100 other mass killers.
Mariupol has been under siege for several weeks, and in recent days street battles have broken out in the city center.
If Mariupol falls, Russian forces in southern and eastern Ukraine will be able to assemble. Western military experts point out that the forces trying to occupy Mariupol, one block at a time, may be too exhausted to contribute to other fronts.
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