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Ukraine Rejects Russia’s Ultimatum To Lay Down Arms

Ukraine Rejects Russia’s Ultimatum To Lay Down Arms

Russian forces offered Ukrainian troops to lay down their arms in exchange for a safe passage out of Mariupol.

Ukraine has rejected an offer to surrender the city of Mariupol after Russian forces offered Ukrainian troops to lay down their arms in exchange for a safe passage out. 

Mariupol is a strategic port on the Azov Sea and has faced heavy bombardment in recent days.

However, an offer from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to give up the city in order to save Ukrainian soldiers was turned down over the weekend. 

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, ‘There can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms. We have already informed the Russian side about this. I wrote: “Instead of wasting time on eight pages of letters, just open the corridor”.’

Ukraine authorities had until the early hours of Monday, March 21, to decide, with Russian Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev suggesting two portals would’ve been created to allow troops out of Mariupol.

Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, the director of the Russian National Center for Defense Management, said in a briefing, ‘Lay down your arms. A terrible humanitarian catastrophe has developed. All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol.’

Mariupol in southern Ukraine has been hit by Russian forces.

Azov Battalion Captain, Svyatoslav Palamar, also refused the offer, stating, ‘Mariupol will remain a Ukrainian city.’

The Azov Battalion went on to accuse Vladimir Putin of using the region to create a land corridor to Crimea in order to bring weakness to Ukraine. 

Over the weekend, an art school sheltering 400 civilians in Mariupol was hit by Russian bombs, according to local authorities.

A statement was posted to the city's Telegram channels that claimed women, children and elderly people were inside the art school in the Left Bank district and could be 'still under the rubble', these claims have not yet been independently verified.

The news arrived on Sunday, March 20, and follows the bombing of a theatre in Mariupol on Wednesday, March 16.

In a video address to his nation, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of committing war crimes.

In a late night broadcast, the president said of the siege in Mariupol, 'To do this to a peaceful city, what the occupiers did, is a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come.'

Local authorities said the attack on the city has killed at least 2,300 so far, with some being buried in mass graves.

Zelenskyy said in an earlier address relating to the theatre bombing that his 'heart breaks from what Russia is doing to our people, to our Mariupol'.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Ukraine, Russia, World News