Ukraine has rejected a deadline given by Russia for forces to surrender the city of Mariupol by 05:00 Moscow time, 04:00 local time on Monday.
“Lay down your arms,” Col-Gen Mikhail Mizintsev, the director of the Russian national defense management centre, said on Sunday in a briefing. “A terrible humanitarian catastrophe has developed. All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol.”
Mizintsev added that local officials would face a “military tribunal” if they didn’t agree to the surrender terms.
However, Ukraine has rejected the proposal with deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk saying that there can be “no question” of surrender.
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk was quoted as saying by Ukrainska Pravda:
“There can be no talk of any surrenders, laying down of arms. We have already informed the Russian side about this…Instead of wasting time on 8 pages of letters, just open a [humanitarian] corridor.”
Art school attacked in Mariupol
Moscow had said that it would open up humanitarian corridors if Ukrainian officials agreed to lay down arms.
This comes as Mariupol officials earlier said that Russia had attacked an art school in the city, where about 400 people were sheltering.
Ukrainian officials stated that the entire building was reduced to rubble, and claimed that there were likely many people trapped under the debris.
Greek diplomat in Mariupol arrives in Greece
“Mariupol will be added to the lists of international cities that have been destroyed, such as Guernica, Stalingrad, and Grozny,” Androulakis stated just after arriving in Athens.
The attack on the city was swift and destructive, the Greek diplomat stated. “Within 24 hours all of the infrastructure in Mariupol was lost,” he said.
Androulakis was first evacuated from the city on Thursday. Upon arriving to a safe area in central Ukraine after fleeing the city, the Greek diplomat recounted the horrors he witnessed in Mariupol to journalist Kostas Onisenko.
“Every day the situation was becoming worse. The city was encircled and the battles were closing in. Civilians were hit. The civilian infrastructure was hit. A hospital was hit, a library, a university. When I say they were hit, I mean nothing was left standing,” Androulakis said.