7 Mar 2022 15:48

People didn't come to humanitarian corridors opened in Ukrainian cities due to nationalists - Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. March 7 (Interfax) - The Russian military has accused Ukrainian nationalists of disrupting the work of humanitarian corridors.

"We monitored closely using objective control means, including drones, no practical events to prepare humanitarian convoys were conducted, no one came to the opened humanitarian corridors," Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the Russian National Defense Control Center, said.

"It has been established that nationalists are just not letting civilians and foreign citizens out of the said populated areas under threat of physical violence," Mizintsev said.

The Russian army declared a ceasefire from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time and declared humanitarian corridors for people to leave Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy and Mariupol, he said.

A corridor from Kyiv to Gomel, with subsequent transportation by air to the Russian Federation, was opened at Russia's proposal, Mizintsev said.

The other corridors were supposed to work as follows: from Mariupol on two routes to Rostov-on-Don and Zaporizhzhya with subsequent departure to western Ukraine, from Kharkiv to Belgorod, from Sumy on two routes to Poltava, at the Ukrainian side's proposal and Belgorod, and then to the selected destinations or temporary accommodation facilities by air, rail or motor transport," he said.

The Ukrainian authorities and the UN, OSCE, and International Committee of the Red Cross entities were informed about that proposal.

"An official response from the Ukrainian side was only received today at 7:10 a.m. with consent for the opening of humanitarian corridors, but the Kyiv regime in its response deliberately did not state the opened humanitarian corridors in the direction of the Russian Federation from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Sumy," Mizintsev said.

The people of the cities were not notified by the Ukrainian authorities about the possibility of evacuation to Russia, Mizintsev said. "It cannot be called anything but cynicism towards their own citizens," he said.