Ukraine rejects Russia’s request to “put down weapons” and surrender Mariupol by Monday’s deadline

Ukrainian officials said the country rejected Russia’s request to surrender the eastern port city of Mariupol by 5 am Moscow time in exchange for the safe passage of residents out of the city.

The Ukrayinska Pravda news portal said Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irina Bereshchuk said: “We have already informed the Russian side of this.”

“I write:” Instead of wasting time on an eight-page letter, I just open the corridor. “

At the beginning of Sunday, Mariupol’s adviser, Pyotr Andrewschenko, said Russia’s promise of a humanitarian corridor was unreliable and vowed that the city would continue to protect itself from Moscow-led aggression.

“We will fight to the last soldier,” he said. BBC news hour..

Andryushenko also doubled the recent claims by Mariupol officials that Russian troops have deported thousands of inhabitants from Ukrainian cities to Russia. The Epoch Times could not independently verify the claim.

“When are they [Russian forces] When it comes to humanitarian corridors, what are they really doing? They really force our people to evacuate to Russia, “Andryushenko said.

Mariupol, a strategically important target for Russia, has experienced heavy Russian bombardment in recent weeks during the Moscow-led invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.

Located in the Sea of ​​Azov, the city could serve as a land route between the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are dominated by Moscow-backed separatists, and the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed in 2014. I have.

Russian troops have surrounded the city over the past few weeks, leaving many of the 400,000 inhabitants trapped with little food, water or electricity.

Ukrainian Parliamentarian Roman Hryshchuk quoted the Deputy Mayor of Mariupol As saying it 80-90% of the city has been destroyed and “no building is undamaged.”

The steady barrage of Russian artillery has also hampered previous evacuation efforts. Last week, a theater in the city, protecting thousands of people, was hit by a powerful Russian airstrike.

Ukrainian Parliamentarian Serhiy Taruta quotes Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Information Said in a Twitter post Thursday, when a bomb shelter under the Mariupol Theater survived the bombardment, “people are coming alive while the rubble is being cleared.”

But on Sunday, Mariupol officials said an art school protecting about 400 people was also attacked by Russian troops. Authorities do not say how many casualties were reported.

Russia urged Ukrainian troops to put their weapons in the besieged port city on Sunday, adding that a “terrible humanitarian catastrophe” was taking place.

“Please cross your arms,” ​​said Brigadier General Mikhail Mijintsev, director of the Russian National Defense Management Center. Said At the briefing distributed by the Department of Defense.

“There was a terrible humanitarian catastrophe,” said Mizintsev. “Everyone who crosses his arms is guaranteed a safe passage from Mariupol.”

Mr Mijintsev said the humanitarian corridor for civilians will open east and west from Mariupol at 10 am Moscow time on Monday, and Ukraine will need to respond to this offer until 5 am Moscow time.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.