A new attempt to evacuate civilians allegedly holed up at Mariupol's Azovstal plant has been cynically disrupted, Moscow says.
A new attempt to establish a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians trapped at the besieged Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol has failed, the Russian military admitted late on Monday. Moscow and Kiev blamed each other for the evacuation attempt, which resulted in no result.
The Kiev authorities have again disrupted this humanitarian operation, cynically. As of April 25, 2022, at 8 pm MSK, no one has used the proposed humanitarian corridor, General Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia's National Defense Management Center, said in a statement.
The Kiev authorities failed to respond with the failure of the new evacuation attempt, according to the official. Despite repeated bemoaning the fate of civilians and civilians said to be holed up next to Ukrainian fighters at the plant, Kiev has not taken any practical steps to facilitate their evacuation, Mizintsev pointed out.
Such illogical and inconsistent behavior of the Kiev authorities again confirms their blatant indifference to the fate of individual people to the citizens of their own country, he stressed.
The Russian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk blamed Moscow for the evacuation failure earlier in the day, after the corridor was supposed to open at 2 pm. She told Ukrainian media that Kiev was ready to do everything to make it work, but shortly afterwards she claimed that the corridor was not set up properly and did not work.
The humanitarian corridor is opened by agreement of both parties. The corridor announced doesn't provide security, and is therefore not a humanitarian corridor, Vereshchuk claimed in a Telegram statement. There are no agreements today on humanitarian corridors from Azovstal. The battle for Mariupol has been raging for almost two months as Russian and Donetsk forces completely surrounded the city. The last stronghold under Ukrainian control is the Azovstal steel plant, with the fighters of the notorious Neo-Nazi Azov regiment and other units holed up at the sprawling industrial facility. Russians had previously offered the Ukrainian fighters an opportunity to lay down their arms and surrender, but they refused, forcing them to be evacuated into an unspecified third country.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.