Mariupol is “liberated” and there is no more fighting, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today in a conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and called on Ukrainian fighters Azov and Marines to surrender and said that their lives were guaranteed.
Putin: “Mariupol is liberated, there are no more fights”
The huge Azovstal steel plant is the last site controlled by Ukrainian forces in Mariupol. “Kyiv should ‘take responsibility’ for the troops at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol,” Putin told Erdogan, according to a Kremlin statement.
Putin called on Ukrainian troops in Azovstal to lay down their arms.
“Prisoners of war are guaranteed life, medical care and treatment in accordance with international legal standards.”, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Ukraine said yesterday that the United Nations should be the “initiator and guarantor” of any evacuation agreement that would have to be implemented in the presence of the Red Cross.
The buildings of the complex have been largely destroyed, but Ukrainian fighters are hiding in a large network of underground tunnels from where they continue to resist the Russians. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that about a thousand civilians and hundreds of wounded were hiding there, in catastrophic conditions, without water and food.
Ukraine has said it will suspend talks with Russia if the last Azovstal fighters are killed. Erdogan also spoke with Zelenski about Sunday’s evacuation.
“President Erdogan has expressed his readiness to provide all possible assistance in the negotiation process and all necessary support, including mediation.”, official Ankara said.