Kyiv (Times Of Ocean)- Following Russia’s offer of safe passage in exchange for surrender, Ukraine says laying down arms will not be an option.
In exchange for safe passage out of Mariupol, Russian forces have urged Ukrainian forces in the port city to lay down their arms and surrender. However, Kyiv officials have immediately rejected the offer as unworkable.
General Mikhail Mizintsev, a Russian colonel, stated on Sunday that Moscow would open two exit routes from the coastal city, one heading east to Russia and one heading west to other parts of the country.
During his visit, he gave Mariupol until 5am (02:00 GMT) on Monday to respond to the offer, saying a “terrible humanitarian catastrophe has developed” in the besieged city, where fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has left residents without food, water, or electricity.
“All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol,” he said, without saying what action Russia would take if the offer was rejected.
On the messaging app Telegram, the Russian Ministry of Defence warned Mariupol officials they could face a military tribunal if they sided with alleged criminals.
Irina Vereshchuk, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, rejected the demand.
“There can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms. We have already informed the Russian side about this,” she told the news outlet Ukrainska Pravda.
“I wrote: ‘Instead of wasting time on eight pages of letters, just open the corridor.’”
Vereshchuk added that the Russians “continue to behave like terrorists” in a video on Telegram.
“They say they agree on the humanitarian corridor and in the morning, shell the place for evacuation,” she said.