MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. Neo-Nazis are using terrorists’ tactics in Mariupol when they don’t let civilians leave their homes and use them as a human shield, the humanitarian response coordinating headquarters under Russia’s Defense Management Center said on Sunday.
"In Mariupol, neo-Nazis of the territorial defense battalions are again using terrorists’ tactics of combat operations. They use civilians as a human shield and deploy heavy weapons in residential compounds and keep residents inside by force," it said.
The Russian defense ministry said on Saturday that from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time the Russian side declared a ceasefire and opened humanitarian corridors for Mariupol and Volnovakha residents. After 14:00 Moscow time, it said that no one had used these corridors. The ministry said earlier that nationalists were not letting civilians leave Volnovakha and Mariupol toward Russia. They also don’t let people leave Kharkov and Sumy. Humanitarian corridors were opened again in Mariupol and Volnovakha on Sunday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address 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 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.
When clarifying the unfolding developments, 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.