MOSCOW, August 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic have supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to provide a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukrainian troops, militia staff sources told ITAR-TASS on Friday.
“We support the initiative of the Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to create a humanitarian corridor for withdrawal of soldiers and officers of the Ukrainian armed forces out of the encirclement. We are ready to ensure their safe withdrawal on condition that they surrender and lay down their arms,” a source at the militia headquarters said.
According to the information of the headquarters, about 2,000 people are blocked near Ilovaisk.
The Kremlin press service said earlier on Friday that Putin overnight called on the militia of south-eastern Ukraine to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukrainian troops. He asked to let Ukrainian servicemen leave the area safely to prevent casualties and "let them join their families and return to their mothers, wives and children". He also asked to provide medical care for wounded Ukrainian servicemen. Putin said many servicemen participated in the Kiev-led military operation in the south-east not on their own free will but obeying the order. He called on the Kiev authorities to immediately stop fighting and sit at the negotiating table with Donbass representatives. The president pledged that Russia would continue providing humanitarian aid for south-eastern Ukrainian regions.
Earlier on Friday, the Donetsk Republic's Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko told Rossiya 24 TV channel that the republic's leaders supported the initiative of the Russian president. "With all due respect for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the president of the country that is the first to support us morally, we are ready to provide humanitarian corridors for encircled Ukrainian troops on condition that they surrender heavy weapons and ammunition so that the weaponry and ammunition could not be used against us," he said.