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KIEV, May 11, 11:24 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian mining and steel group of companies Metinvest which is owned by business tycoon Rinat Akhmetov urged Ukrainian leadership “to admit irreparable errors” and to stop a punitive operation in Donetsk Region in the southeast of the country. The statement made public by the Metinvest press service contains a demand to withdraw troops from Donetsk Region, including from the city of Mariupol. Metinvest also stated about formation of people’s militia from workers of metallurgical plants incorporated in the group.
“We urge you to give up large-scale clashes with use of armed forces, heavy military hardware and weapons in peaceful cities of Donbas [the main Ukrainian coalmining region]. We believe that Ukrainian troops and other armed people should leave the city immediately,” the document runs.
“All possibilities of peace talks are not exhausted,” Metinvest noted. “Current authorities can and should heed to the voice of Donbas residents. Further military operations in the region will lead only to most residents losing their trust and respect to current authorities,” the statement reads.
“Metinvest Group proposes to admit irreparable mistakes which were made in the city of Mariupol and other Donbas cities, withdraw troops, engage in a dialogue with people, take compromising political decisions urgently seeking to lift social tension,” the Metinvest press service said.
The group of companies also noted that Metinvest and municipal police were forming militia squads of workers of metallurgical plants to maintain order in the city of Mariupol. “These militia squads will patrol the city and will protect civilians from looters and criminals rampaging in the city,” the press service added.