MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. The forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic continue tightening their encirclement of Mariupol while militants of the Ukrainian Azov and Aidar nationalist battalions are delivering fire on the people’s militia units from the city’s schools, hospitals and kindergartens, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
"The servicemen of the Donetsk People’s Republic continue tightening their encirclement of Mariupol. Militants of the Azov and Aidar nationalist battalions are delivering fire on the people’s militia units that have entered the city from positions equipped in schools, hospitals, maternity homes and kindergartens," the spokesman said.
The Russian armed forces continue delivering strikes against Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities, the general said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced 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 Ukraine 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 and the operation was aimed at demilitarizing and denazifying Ukraine.
When clarifying the developments unfolding, 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.