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Humanitarian corridor cannot be discussed without mediators — DNR leader

Head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic says Kiev does not control its units, and it is impossible to reach an agreement without mediators

MOSCOW, June 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) does not plan to discuss with Kiev the establishment of a humanitarian corridor without mediators, Chairman of the Supreme Council of DNR Denis Pushilin said on Wednesday.

“The most pressing issue we are facing is the evacuation of elderly people, children, women and the wounded from flashpoints,” he said, adding that the situation becomes absurd at times when “funeral processions, buses with the injured are shelled”. “This is immoral from all points of view,” he added.

“The situation is as follows - Kiev does not control its units. These are armed gangs and not units,” the republic’s head said. “It is not possible to agree with them without mediators,” he noted, mentioning the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Red Cross among possible mediators. Pushilin said talks with Kiev are possible with Russia's mediation. “The Russian Federation is the strongest guarantor for us,” he added.

"The key issues during the talks should be humanitarian corridors, prisoner-of-war exchange, and withdrawal of illegal armed formations form the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic," Pushilin told reporters on Wednesday after a meeting with lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party at the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament.

"We should begin with these topics, and all other talk is inappropriate," he added. Pushilin believes that Russia can provide assistance by sending peacekeepers to Donbass.

"We don't believe Poroshenko's statement on stopping the military operation in south-eastern Ukraine by the end of the week. These are just populist statements by Kiev," Pushilin said.

It makes no sense to talk about a unified Ukraine after so many deaths and wrecked lives in Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Kostiantynivka, Mariupol and other towns of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics and after the Odessa massacre, he said.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered to organize a humanitarian corridor for civilians willing to leave the regions where armed confrontation continues.