MOSCOW, April 22. /TASS/. The humanitarian pause will begin when the Ukrainian forces holed up at Mariupol’s Azovstal plant, sealed off by the Russian army, raise white flags, the chief of Russia’s National Defense Command Center, Mikhail Mizintsev, said on Friday.
"The humanitarian pause will begin when the Ukrainian forces raise white flags along the whole perimeter or certain routes leading out of Azovstal," he said.
As soon as they see white flags on any roads leading out of Azovstal, Mizintsev stressed, the Russian army and Donetsk People’s Republic's forces will terminate any combat operations and guarantee safe exit towards the humanitarian convoys’ meeting sites.
Russia’s approach to the humanitarian operation remains the same: evacuation will be carried out to territories controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces or to Russia at the evacuees’ own discretion. The Ukrainian army soldiers, militants from the nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries who have surrendered are guaranteed life and security.
"All will enjoy proper medical assistance, including first aid, at the meeting sites. This is Russia’s own humanitarian initiative, and it is effective round the clock," Mizintsev said. In Mariupol, a sufficient number of busses, other motor vehicles and ambulances with medical teams are permanently ready.
"This statement will be systematically telecast to the Ukrainian forces in Azovstal every 30 minutes. Also, it is transmitted via hotline communication channels to the Ukrainian side, including Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk," Mizintsev said.