After extending its control over the entire city, Russia announced its intention to stop hostilities to allow the evacuation of civilians stranded with Ukrainian soldiers in the besieged Azovstal Metallurgical Complex in Mariupol city, southeast Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Russian forces and Ukrainian fighters loyal to Moscow pledged to “a unilateral ceasefire at 14:00 Moscow time (1100 GMT) and the withdrawal of units to a safe distance.”
They can leave in any direction
She also added that any civilians trapped in this huge factory could leave in any direction they chose.
In turn, the head of the Russian Defense Administration Center, Mikhail Mizintsev, announced the army’s readiness to open a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave the territory of the Azovstal plant. “The Russian military is ready to once again open a humanitarian corridor to civilians, if they are present,” he said.
We will not attack the military
In addition, Al-Arabiya correspondent reported that Russia had pledged not to harm the soldiers at the Azovstal facility if they laid down their arms!
While Kyiv denied the agreement on safe corridors in Mariupol today.
This step came, after the President of the separatist Donetsk Republic, Denis Pushilin, announced that the attacks and fighting had stopped at the present time in this site, which had attracted the world’s attention during the past few days.
From Mariupol (archive – AFP)
In the past days, Kyiv has repeatedly called for the opening of safe corridors for the evacuation of civilians, accusing the Russian forces of trying to eliminate the “steadfast” fighters in the factory, along with thousands of civilians, she said.
It is noteworthy that the Russians tried, since the first days of the start of the military operation on the territory of the western neighbor, on February 24, to control the strategic city of Mariupol, but they were able to enter and spread almost completely last week, while Azovstal was the only exception.
This city on the Sea of Azov, which was inhabited by more than 400,000 people, constituted an important target for the Russian forces, especially since controlling it would enable them to link eastern Ukraine with the Crimea in the south of the country, which Russia annexed to its territory in 2014.
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