Printed on Fri Oct 07 2022 12:48:02 AM

Russia desires Mariupol forces to lay down arms

Staff Correspondent
russia mariupol
Russia has proposed to spare the lives of Ukrainian soldiers battling in the key port city of Mariupol - but only if they lay down their arms on Sunday.

The Russian government said Ukrainian soldiers and “unfamiliar soldiers of fortune” still battling in Mariupol, which Russia says it has nearly taken control of, could set out their weapons between 06:00 and 13:00 Moscow time (03:00-10:00 GMT) and their safety would be guaranteed.

Those doing so would be treated in accordance with the Geneva convention on prisoners of war, it said.

The statement did not say what would happen to any soldiers who refused to stop battling - and said the offer was being made on "absolutely sympathetic standards".

Russia says the only remaining Ukrainian troops in the city are contained in a small area around the Azovstal steelworks area.

The statement said Russian forces would "continuously broadcast" details of the offer to the soldiers still at Azovstal like clockwork over the course of the evening.

It also encouraged the troops not to wait for permission to surrender from Kyiv, yet to pursue the actual choice.

Earlier, President Zelensky warned that "eliminating" the remaining fighters in Mariupol would put an end to talks with Russia.

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