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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ukrainian Nationalists Hold 6,500 Foreigners Hostage, 60 Ships Blocked, Russian Military States

Sputnik News


MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ukrainian nationalists are still holding 6,500 foreigners from 16 countries hostage, with over 60 foreign vessels blocked in the ports of the country, the head of the Russian National Defense Control Center Mikhail Mizintsev said on Monday.

"Ukrainian nationalists continue to hold 6,501 foreign citizens from 16 countries hostage, using them as a "human shield." Besides, more than 60 foreign vessels continue to be blocked in Ukrainian ports. The threat of shelling and high mine danger in [Ukrainian] internal waters and territorial sea, which was created by the official Kiev, does not allow ships to go safely to the open sea," Mizintsev said at a briefing.

He specified that the Russian troops open a humanitarian corridor for ships—a safe lane in the south-west direction from the territorial sea of Ukraine with a length of 80 and a width of 3 nautical miles—every day from 08:00 till 19:00 Moscow Time (05:00 till 16:00 GMT). Information about the its operation is broadcast around the clock via VHF radio on 14 and 16 international channels in English and Russian with the interval of 15 minutes. At the same time, the Kiev authorities still do not confirm and shrink in every possible way from cooperation in resolving the issue of ensuring a safe exit of foreign vessels to the collection area, Mizintsev said.

"Yet again we are calling on the International Maritime Organization and the management of shipowners to influence the official Kiev to take measures aimed at unblocking and ensuring the safety of the exit of ships of foreign states from the ports of Ukraine," the official said.

According to Mizintsev, there is still a threat of drifting Ukrainian mines that got off the anchor along the coasts of the Black Sea. The Russian Federation is taking a full range of possible measures to ensure the safety of civil navigation in the Black, Azov and Mediterranean Seas.

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. The Russian Ministry of Defense said the operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.

© Sputnik

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