Russia announces ceasefire to evacuate civilians from Azovstal steel plant
Moscow, Apr 25 (EFE).- Russia on Monday announced a ceasefire for the evacuation of civilians from the besieged Azovstal steel plant, in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
Military forces from Russia and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic will cease hostilities, withdraw to a reasonable distance and allow the evacuation of civilians “in the direction they choose,” the National Defense Management Center’s head, Mikhail Mizintsev said.
“There is no obstacle for civilians to leave Azovstal, except for the decision of the Kyiv authorities themselves and the commanders of the nationalist formations to retain civilians as a human shield,” he said on Telegram.
Russia demands that Ukrainian authorities “immediately order the commanders of the nationalist formations to release” the civilians that may have been in the plant, the statement added.
On Thursday, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin canceled an order to attack Azovstal, which has been besieged for several weeks.
Putin justified his decision with the need to think more about saving the lives of Russian soldiers and officers. EFE