Ukraine He refuses to hand over his army’s weapons and leave the city of Mariupol, in the southeast of the country, before noon on Monday, as required by Russia’s ultimatum, a government source reported on Sunday.
The deputy prime minister and head of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of UkraineIryna Vereshchuk told the online daily “Ukrayinska Pravda” this morning that the Russian Federation Defense Ministry sent an eight-page letter to kyiv “which is a return to history and a delusion.”
“They sent the same letter to the UN, to the International Committee of the Red Cross and hoped that international organizations would react and start putting pressure on Ukraine. This will not happen. The ICRC and the UN understand that it is a manipulation by Russia and that it is taking people hostage,” the deputy minister replied to the newspaper.
He added that “we cannot talk about the delivery of weapons. We have already informed the Russian side about it,” noting that Moscow was told that “instead of spending time on 8 pages of letter, just open the corridor” humanitarian to that civilians can leave.
The deputy minister said that they have informed the UN and the ICRC, and that they await the reaction of the international community. “It is a deliberate manipulation and it is a real hostage taking,” she denounced.
Some 400,000 people have been trapped in Mariupol for more than two weeks amid heavy shelling that has cut off central electricity, heating and water supplies, according to local sources.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday described the siege of Mariupol as “an act of terror that will be remembered for centuries to come.”
The deputy minister also accused the Russian army of trying to send 350 children “by force to Russia without allowing us to take them away”, which she described as “terrorism”.
Russia on Sunday called on Ukrainian forces to leave the city of Mariupol before noon.
“The organized departure from the city will be carried out as follows: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. all the armed units of Ukraine and foreign mercenaries without arms and ammunition (will be able to leave the locality) by a route agreed with UkraineMikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center, said.
At the same time, he assured that the Ukrainian forces that lay down their arms will be able to leave Mariupol “safely and without their lives being in danger.”
He added that humanitarian convoys from kyiv and from territories in the east of the country, which are not under his control, will be able to enter the city from noon.