MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. The Kiev nationalists are preventing civilians from leaving Volnovakha and Mariupol, as well as the cities of Kharkov and Sumy, through humanitarian corridors, Chief of the National Center for State Defense Control, Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev said on Saturday.
"On the Volnovakha and Mariupol directions, humanitarian corridors were opened every day, however, the national battalions firmly suppressed people’s attempts to leave for Russia. The same situation is observed in the cities of Kharkov and Sumy and some other settlements," the official noted.
As Mizintsev recalled, at 10:00 Moscow time, 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.
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.