Russia gives Mariupol an ultimatum to surrender

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Russia called on Ukrainian forces to leave the city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine before noon on Monday.

鈥淚n that case, the organized departure from the city will take place as follows: from 10 to 12 o鈥檆lock all Ukrainian armed units and foreign mercenaries without weapons and ammunition (will be able to leave the town) along a route agreed with Ukraine鈥 said Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia鈥檚 National Defense Control Center.

鈥淟ower your weapons,鈥 the colonel general said in a report distributed by the Defense Ministry. 鈥淎 terrible humanitarian catastrophe has developed鈥 in the city, Mizintsev added. 鈥淎ll those who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol.鈥 The city has suffered one of the heaviest bombardments since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Many of its 400,000 residents are still stuck in the city with little or no food.water and electricity.

Ukraine has until 5 a.m. Moscow time to respond to the offer on humanitarian corridors and arms deposition, said. Mizintsev, without providing evidence, said that 鈥渂andits鈥, 鈥渘eo-Nazis鈥 and Ukrainian nationalists had engaged in 鈥渕ass terror鈥 and carried out a massacre in the city.

Ukraine says it is fighting for its very existence and President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday the Russian siege of Mariupol was 鈥渁 terror that will be remembered for centuries to come.鈥 The Ukrainian authorities admitted, however, that they were in a position to send reinforcements to the city.

Mizintsev claims that Russia was not using heavy weapons against Mariupol and that his country had evacuated 59,304 people from the city, but that 130,000 civilians remained there as de facto hostages. He said 330,686 people had been evacuated from Ukraine by Russia since the start of the 鈥渕ilitary operation,鈥 as Russian authorities call the war.

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