MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Kiev's leadership betrayed the people at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol because it used them as a tool for blackmail, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Sputnik radio station on Wednesday.
"I go through the materials of Ukrainian propagandists, who for a month plugged the topic of Azovstal, their heroic stay there, and the supposed atrocities of our country. That is it, all of a sudden, these people [blockaded at Azovstal] do not exist, they were just crossed out of this information field and [reporters started] making up a story about some heroism of the Kiev regime, which made the only correct and wise decision. True, it took it a month instead of the time it could have taken it, and the lives and the well-being [of many] could have been saved, without harming itself once again, without demonstrating its [Kiev regime's] bloodthirstiness. You see, this is quite interesting: in fact, there are no such people, I mean the people who were at Azovstal, who were simply betrayed by their own leadership in Kiev, because they used them as a tool for blackmail for everyone else. Purposelessly, completely thoughtlessly and callously," she said.
According to Zakharova, the Kiev regime regularly used blackmail tactics on a number of countries, primarily European states, "in order to solve the tasks that the United States has set for them in the first place." "This is one of Washington's most convenient tools for influencing the situation in the European Union," she added.
"The epiphany for the EU countries [in the context of the current situation in Ukraine] will be difficult," the diplomat summarized.