MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. Nationalist forces did not allow any civilians leave Mariupol and Volnovakha during the period of ceasefire on Saturday, so the Russian armed forces resumed their offensive, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
"Not a single civilian was able to exit Mariupol and Volnovakha via the declared security corridors. Nationalist groups use the population of those cities as a human shield. Nationalist battalions used the ceasefire period for regrouping their forces and reinforcing their positions. Due to the Ukrainian side’s reluctance to somehow influence the nationalists or extend the ceasefire, the offensive resumed from 18:00 Moscow time," Konashenkov said.
In his words, Russian military forces are advancing on a wide front and have already taken control over the towns of Malaya Tokmachka, Marfopol, Removka, Novokarlovka, Orlinskoye, Volodino and Malinovka.
Chief of the National Center for State Defense Control, Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev said earlier in the day that at 10:00 Moscow time on Saturday, a ceasefire was declared to evacuate civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha at the request of the Ukrainian side and solely for humanitarian purposes. The routes and transport logistics were developed and agreed with Kiev. The Russian army ensured the security of humanitarian corridors, and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kiev and Moscow were notified.
According to Mizintsev, 200,000 refugees from Mariupol and 15,000 from Volnovakha could not reach the humanitarian corridors.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to the appeal of the leaders of the republics of Donbass, decided to conduct a special military operation. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow’s plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. After that, the US, EU, and UK, as well as several other states, announced that they were imposing sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities.