MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. The Russian side announces a ceasefire and opens humanitarian corridors for the exit of residents of Mariupol and Volnovakha, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Saturday.
"Today, on March 5, a ceasefire is announced from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time and humanitarian corridors are opened for the exit of civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha," the ministry said.
The humanitarian corridors and the exit routes were agreed with the Ukrainian side, it specified.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories and the operation was aimed at demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine.
When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.