From the outskirts of Mariupol humanitarian corridors have been set up to free those held hostage for long days by the neo-Nazi occupants. My understanding is that heavy fighting is still going on in the centre of the city.
Vineyard of the Saker has produced a translation of the Russian Ministry of Defence statement from the joint committee meeting yesterday (reproduced below).
MOD Russia: Meeting of the Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine
Meeting of the Joint Coordination Headquarters for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine
Unfortunately, the humanitarian situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate rapidly, and in some cities it has become critical.
Mariupol has been in an extremely difficult situation for a long time. Today, as a result of effective actions, the formations of the Donetsk People’s Republic, with the support of units of the Russian Armed Forces, have surgically destroyed almost all firing points equipped by neo-Nazis in the suburban areas of Mariupol. Maneuvering actions of special purpose units eliminated the main forces of neo-Nazis in positions in residential areas around the perimeter of the city.
The successful operation to unblock the city made it possible today from 15 o’clock to open humanitarian corridors for civilians to exit and to begin mass evacuation of the population that had been held hostage by neo-Nazis for a long time.
Car convoys with humanitarian cargo were promptly formed and immediately dispatched. The first convoy has already arrived in Mariupol and delivered 450 tons of medicines, basic necessities and food, including baby food.
In addition, four columns with a total of 200 buses have been formed to evacuate the needy and injured residents of Mariupol, of which 50 have already arrived in Mariupol, the rest are on the move.
All the injured and willing residents of Mariupol will be taken to temporary accommodation facilities, where all conditions for comfortable living are created for them. Arriving citizens will be provided with everything necessary, issues of placement of children in preschool institutions, schoolchildren and students in educational institutions will be promptly resolved. Individual work with the participation of medical workers and employees of the psychological service will be carried out with each Mariupol citizen who has experienced the horrors and humiliations of neo-Nazis.
Despite the endless streams of lies and misinformation, the Russian Federation continues to fully fulfill its humanitarian obligations.
Every day, for the eleventh day in a row, from 10 o’clock in the morning, the Russian side opens humanitarian corridors in the Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy and Kharkov directions. The exit of civilians and foreign citizens through them is provided both to the Russian Federation and in the western direction through the territories controlled by official Kiev.
The imposed ceasefire by the Russian Armed Forces is strictly observed.
Of the ten routes we have proposed, the Ukrainian authorities have agreed on only three for today, but at the same time, again cynically towards their own people – there is not a single humanitarian corridor to the Russian Federation.
Once again extending a helping hand to the fraternal Ukrainian people, Russia agreed to the eleven additional humanitarian corridors proposed by Kiev in the Kiev, Zaporozhye, Mariupol, Lugansk and Donetsk directions.
At the same time, the requests from the Ukrainian side to deliver allegedly humanitarian goods to Melitopol and Kherson look absurd. Once again, we inform you that these cities are under our full control, their population continues to live a peaceful life and is provided with everything necessary by the Russian Federation. There are no problems in providing assistance to residents of these settlements.
By means of objective control, including the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, we constantly record all changes in the situation on humanitarian routes.
It has again been confirmed that Ukrainian units and neo-Nazi battalions continue to use the daily imposed ceasefire only to regroup in more favourable positions, restore combat effectiveness and replenish materiel, while shielding themselves behind a “human shield” of civilians.
Pursuing exclusively humane goals, Russian servicemen not only do not hinder, but also urge Ukrainians to take advantage of convenient ways for them to get to safe places, including those routes that pass through the territories controlled by Kiev.
At the same time, the flow of refugees across the western border of Ukraine continues to grow. People under pressure from the Kiev authorities are forced to leave for Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. But no one is waiting for them either at the border or inside the European states. Ukrainian border guards behave cynically towards their people, just as they do on ordinary days, despite the humanitarian emergency situation around the refugees. The capacity of border crossings is not provided. Thousands of cars have accumulated in traffic jams for tens of kilometers, pandemonium and crush at pedestrian crossings. Some Ukrainians stand in line for two or three days, while at the checkpoints there are no places of rest, food and medical care are not organized. Refugees are forced to actually be in the wind and cold, and many of them are with young children. This once again shows how the Kiev authorities do not care about their citizens, who have not been able to organize the evacuation in a high-quality way. In addition, all these facts say that no one needs Ukrainian refugees in Europe either.
Western countries, the United Nations, the OSCE, the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as a number of other international organizations, in the catastrophic humanitarian situation that has developed for Ukraine, still remain on the sidelines and do not give a principled assessment of outright neo-Nazism, which has already befuddled the Kiev authorities and reigns in the territories controlled by Ukrainian nationalists.
In Zaporozhye, the militants, having seized the financial institutions of the city, carry out checks of depositors’ bank accounts. Citizens with significant financial savings are abducted, forcibly detained and, threatening with murder, money is taken away from them, allegedly for the needs of territorial defence detachments. Civilians trying to escape the arbitrariness and violence of the nationalists make independent attempts to leave the city. At checkpoints controlled by radicals, people are detained, beaten, humiliated or extorted the last of their goods for an unhindered exit from the city.
In large cities such as Kharkov, Odessa and Nikolaev, members of nationalist formations, under threat of physical violence against family members of men aged 18 to 60, are forcibly recruiting them into territorial defence battalions. Residents are intimidated, but forced to agree.
Let me remind you that historically, a significant part of the population of Ukraine has always advocated good relations with Russia. According to statistics, this is more than 15 million people who still maintain strong ties with the Russian Federation, where their relatives and friends live. First of all, these are Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernigov, Kharkov, Kherson, Nikolaev, Odessa, Poltava, Sumy, Kirovograd, Cherkasy, Kiev and Zhytomyr regions.
Since the nationalists came to power in 2014, a full-fledged, large-scale, prepared and managed by Western specialists campaign for mass Ukrainization of the population was conducted in Ukraine, aimed primarily against Russian-speaking citizens of the country. Kiev’s discriminatory policy forced native speakers of the Russian language and culture to hide their beliefs under threat of criminal prosecution, demonstrating imaginary loyalty to the current government. Ukrainization, deployed at the state level, has done its job. The ukranationalist authorities have deprived millions of citizens of their country of the opportunity to develop their native language and culture and to bring up their children in a Russian cultural environment.
And at present, neo-Nazis continue their activities aimed at the complete or partial destruction of the Russian-speaking population, in fact, at its genocide.
Despite eight years of brainwashing, widespread insults and psychological pressure, millions of Ukrainian citizens have maintained their commitment to Russian culture under conditions of narrowly directed ideological influence.
In the context of a humanitarian crisis, most of the population held by nationalists in the cities of Ukraine and used by them as a “human shield” is looking for protection in Russia, and not in the West, which is confirmed by millions of appeals from citizens for help in evacuation to the Russian side.
At the same time, the Kiev authorities demonstrate complete indifference to these people and willingness to sacrifice them for the sake of nationalist interests, forcing them to stay in their homes and allowing evacuation only to the western regions of Ukraine or neighboring European countries, but not to Russia.
Daily monitoring of the received appeals shows that 12,247 people have expressed a desire to escape from the horrors and arbitrariness staged by the nationalists – namely to Russia and Belarus, and not to the West – just over the past day, and there are already 2,665,822 of them in our database with specific surnames and addresses from almost 2,000 settlements of Ukraine.
That’s a huge number. Behind each figure is a specific person, his pain, suffering, horror, and often a crippled psyche and undermined health. But on the other hand, it is also the hope of liberation from shocks, the desire for freedom of speech, thought, conscience and religion, the opportunity to speak freely in Russian, for many their native language, without looking back at the followers of Nazism, ready to shoot in the back.
I quote one of the many appeals received today: “My father is in Kirovograd. I beg you, I pray, to evacuate Kirovograd residents accompanied by Russian servicemen, since when evacuating citizens on their own, they may die from the executions of looters or the authorities of Ukraine. When the evacuation begins, please let me know by phone…”. End quote.
The steps of the Kiev authorities, which have legitimized, in violation of all conceivable canons of humanitarian law, the possibility of uncontrolled and unpunished use of weapons by nationalists, provoking looting, banditry and violence against their people, civilians who are not capable of adequately countering such inhumane acts, also look like outright mockery of their citizens. Any attempts to resist the militants lead to irreparable consequences, up to the murderer of dissenters.
A monstrous act of cruelty against the civilian population was committed by Ukrainian nationalists in Donetsk today. As a result of a missile strike on a densely populated area in the city center, 20 civilians were killed, 28 people were injured, one of them a child. This is another evidence of the inhumane attitude of the criminal Ukrainian authorities towards the civilian population.
Despite all this, with difficulty, but with the observance of all necessary security measures, we manage to save thousands of lives of civilians and foreign citizens every day.
Despite this, 8,575 people, including 1,298 children, were evacuated from the dangerous zones of various regions of Ukraine, as well as the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics, during the day without the participation of the Ukrainian side, 248,993 people have been evacuated since the beginning of the special military operation, 54,481 of them children. The state border of the Russian Federation was crossed by 27,923 personal vehicles including 2,415 per day.
In addition, over the past two days, thanks to the unprecedented security measures taken by the Russian Armed Forces, it was possible to provide humanitarian corridors and evacuate 21,345 citizens traveling by buses and personal cars from various localities in Zhytomyr, Lugansk and Donetsk directions.
6,972 citizens from 22 foreign countries, as well as the crews of more than 50 foreign vessels blocked in the seaports of Ukraine, continue to be held hostage by the militants of the territorial defence battalions.
The fate of these foreign citizens has been the subject of round-the-clock cooperation with representatives of the relevant diplomatic agencies. At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities practically do not react in any way to the appeals of foreign states for the rescue of compatriots in distress.
The Russian side still keeps a sufficient number of vehicles ready at the checkpoints, including comfortable buses for transporting refugees to selected destinations, as well as to temporary accommodation points, where all citizens arriving on the territory of Russia are provided with three hot meals a day and medical assistance is provided around the clock.
More than 9,500 temporary accommodation centres continue to operate in the regions of the Russian Federation.
Federal executive authorities together with the subjects of Russia, various public organizations, patriotic movements have prepared more than 18,000 of humanitarian aid.
At the same time, the Russian side is creating the necessary conditions for a peaceful and safe life in all the liberated territories, ensuring unimpeded access of the population to any humanitarian aid.
2,165 tons of humanitarian cargo have already been delivered to the settlements of Kiev, Sumy, Chernigov, Zaporozhye, Kharkov, Kherson regions, as well as Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics during the 306 humanitarian actions, including 23 actions carried out over the past day, 110 tons of basic necessities and food were transferred to the civilian population of the liberated areas.
To date, 16 humanitarian actions have been planned and are currently being carried out in Chernigov, Kharkov and Kherson regions, in Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, during which 150 tons of basic necessities, medicine and food will be distributed.