The Russian Ministry of Defense has called on Mariupol local authorities to surrender the city to Russian forces by 5 a.m. Moscow time Monday (4 a.m. Monday in Mariupol and 10 p.m. ET Sunday), according to Russian state-owned news agency, RIA Novosti.
The news agency said the Ministry of Defense would open humanitarian corridors to the city by 10 a.m. local time Monday (4 a.m. ET Monday) and “wants to receive a written response from Kiev to these proposals before 5:00.”, reported by CNN.
RIA Novosti attributed its reporting to comments made by the head of the National Center for Defense Management of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev.
“From 10 a.m. to 12 o’clock — for all armed units of Ukraine and foreign mercenaries is a temporary suspension of fighting along the route agreed with Ukraine. From 12 o’clock, there will be a simultaneous passage of humanitarian convoys with food, medicine and basic necessities,” Mizintsev said.
This latest demand comes as the Mariupol City Council said Saturday residents are being taken to Russia against their will by Russian forces.
In calling on city officials to surrender, RIA Novosti quoted Mizintsev saying “we appeal to the odious bandits, who are responsible for hundreds of lives of innocent people, and now call themselves representatives of the official local authorities, of this unique city Mariupol.”
“It is you who now have the right to a historic choice – either you are with your people, or you are with bandits, otherwise the military tribunal that awaits you is only a minor thing that you have already deserved because of the despicable attitude towards your own citizens, as well as the terrible crimes and provocations already arranged by you,” Mizintsev said, according to RIA Novosti.
RIA also reported Mizintsev said nearly 60,000 residents of Mariupol “found themselves in Russia in complete safety.”
“Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents have been taken to Russian territory,” the city said in a statement. “The occupiers illegally took people from the Livoberezhny district and from the shelter in the sports club building, where more than a thousand people (mostly women and children) were hiding from the constant bombing.”
Captured Mariupol residents were taken to camps where Russian forces checked their phones and documents, then redirected some of the residents to remote cities in Russia, the statement said, adding the “fate of the others is unknown.”