Russia Issues New Ultimatum to Ukrainian Fighters at Mariupol’s Azovstal Factory
Russia on Tuesday issued a new ultimatum to Ukrainian fighters who are on the site of the surrounded Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
The “nationalist fighters and foreign mercenaries” will have the opportunity from 12 noon to lay down their arms and surrender. Their lives will then be spared, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Ukraine had previously criticized Russia for refusing to establish a humanitarian corridor that would allow civilians to leave the steel mill. According to the Ukrainian services, not only fighters but also many civilians have sought refuge at the factory.
Moscow had previously stated that the reports of the presence of women, children and other civilians are incorrect. But now, there is an opportunity to surrender to “purely humanitarian principles”.
Moscow also calls on the government in Kyiv to use “common sense” and give the fighters “appropriate instructions to end this senseless confrontation”. If Kyiv does not give that order, the soldiers and mercenaries must surrender of their own accord, it is said.
Also, according to the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry, contact between Moscow and Kyiv would be established at 13 o’clock (local time). Half an hour later, a local ceasefire must be instituted. From 2 to 4 pm, the soldiers and mercenaries are then allowed to leave the factory without weapons.