Ukraine Rejects Russia’s Request It Surrender Mariupol
Ukraine spurned Russia’s demand that their forces surrender the seaport city of Mariupol on Monday. The Russians had said that in turn, they would allow safe passage out of the besieged city for those who laid their weapons down.
“There can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainian Pravda. “We have already informed the Russian side about this.”
Previous promises from Russia to allow residents to safely exit have not been fully kept.
Their offer also came hours after Russian forces bombed an art school that was providing shelter to an estimated 400 refugees. It was one of the multiple public buildings they had attacked within less than a week. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered an update early Monday morning.
“They are under the rubble, and we don’t know how many of them have survived,” he said in a video address. “But we know that we will certainly shoot down the pilot who dropped that bomb, like about 100 other such mass murderers whom we already have downed.”
Russian forces also hit a Mariupol theater last week. Around 1,000 people, including children, had been staying there at the time of the airstrike. On Friday, reports announced that 130 people had been rescued from the rubble, but there has been no update since then.
Mariupol has been hit hard in Russia’s attack on Ukraine because if it falls, Russian forces in the north and the east would meet. Russia would also gain power over a land bridge between Ukraine and Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. Mariupol has been cut off from water and power for weeks, and now they are running low on necessities like food and medicine.
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