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Iran Press TV

Russia: Ukrainian soldiers who surrender in Mariupol will be spared

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 17 April 2022 9:55 AM

Russia says Ukrainian soldiers have until Sunday to lay down arms and surrender in the southern city of Mariupol as the city has been under siege for weeks.

Moscow issued the ultimatum to Ukraine soldiers on Saturday, urging them to lay down their arms by 6:00 am Moscow time (0300 GMT) and to evacuate the premises before 13:00 pm.

Russia's defense ministry said its troops have cleared the urban area of the key city of Mariupol and only a small contingent of Ukrainian soldiers remain inside Azovstal steel factory in the besieged southern port.

"All who lay down their arms are guaranteed that their lives will be spared," the ministry said in a statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Mariupol's fall would put an end to peace talks with Moscow. He also called on the US and Europeans to immediately send heavy weapons.

Mariupol has become the most heavily bombed and damaged city in the war. Geographically, the city of Mariupol occupies only a tiny area on the map but it is so important as it allows Moscow to create a land corridor to Crimea.

Zelensky said between 2,500 and 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the conflict, compared to 19,000-20,000 dead Russians. Moscow has said its losses were far smaller.

In Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv, a Russian missile strike on a residential district killed at least two people on Saturday and wounded 18 others, according to the city's mayor.

Local media also reported an explosion outside the capital Kiev. Russia said it destroyed an ammunitions factory near the settlement of Brovary with high-precision missiles.

The European Union last week approved the fifth round of sanctions on Russia that included an end to Russian coal imports.

The forthcoming round of sanctions on Russia will target banks, including Sberbank, as well as oil, head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

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