The Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday called in a statement on the entire Ukrainian army to “lay down their arms” and the last defenders of the city of Mariupol to end their “senseless resistance”. This call comes less than 24 hours after
Russia on Tuesday called on the entire Ukrainian army to “lay down their arms” and the last defenders of the city of Mariupol to end their “senseless resistance”, a call that comes as Moscow seems launched in its great offensive on the east Ukrainian. “Do not tempt fate, take the only correct decision, that of ceasing military operations and laying down your arms,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
“Use common sense”
“We address all servicemen of the Ukrainian army and foreign mercenaries: an unenviable fate awaits you because of the cynicism of the kyiv authorities,” he added. The Russian army also promised “life saves” to Ukrainian fighters from Mariupol (southeast) still occupying the industrial site of Azovstal, if they surrendered on Tuesday. It proposes a ceasefire at 12 p.m. Tuesday (9 a.m. GMT) so that between “2 p.m. (11 a.m. GMT) and 4 p.m. Moscow time (1 p.m. GMT) all Ukrainian armed units without exception and foreign mercenaries leave (from Azovstal ) without arms or ammunition”.
“We call on the Kyiv authorities to show common sense and order the fighters to stop their senseless resistance,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. A few hours after this request, the Russian army claimed to have opened a corridor from 11:00 GMT for Ukrainian soldiers in Azovstal who surrendered to be able to exit. The Russian Defense Ministry said a local ceasefire had been established to ensure a safe exit.
The Russian army also says it has set up “three humanitarian columns” in three streets located north, west and east of the Azovstal factory. These columns, made up of around forty vehicles, including ambulances, should make it possible to “transport people” according to Moscow. Since the siege of the strategic port began in early March, Moscow has repeatedly called on Ukrainian forces to lay down their arms.
A fierce resistance in the Azovstal factory
Last week, more than a thousand Ukrainian soldiers went to Mariupol but several hundred others, according to pro-Russian separatists, are still entrenched in the huge Azovstal factory where they are leading a fierce resistance. On Tuesday, a military official of the Donetsk separatists, Eduard Basurin, claimed that “assault groups” supported by Russian artillery and aviation had “partly” launched an assault on Azovstal.
On Russian television, Edouard Bassourin also assured that no civilians were in this industrial zone, contrary to what the Ukrainian fighters on the spot say.