7 Mar 2022 21:37

Russian Defense Ministry says hostilities halted due to 'silence regime' in Ukraine

MOSCOW. March 7 (Interfax) - There has been no fighting since this morning to enable the evacuation of several Ukrainian towns, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"Today, all hostilities were fully stopped since 10 a.m. Moscow time in accordance with the declared 'silence regime'," the ministry's spokesperson Igor Konashenkov told a briefing on Monday.

Meanwhile, the head of Russia's National Defense Control Center, Mikhail Mizintsev, said that the Ukrainian authorities failed to comply with the agreement to create humanitarian corridors.

From 10 a.m. Moscow time the Russian army imposed the "silence regime" for the civilian evacuation of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy and Mariupol through humanitarian corridors, he said. In particular, one such corridor proposed by Russia was to allow people to leave Kyiv for Gomel (Belarus) and subsequently to be flown to Russia, Mizintsev said.

The other corridors were "from Mariupol, two routes, to Rostov-Don and Zaporizhzhya, with subsequent departure to western Ukraine; from Kharkiv to Belgorod; from Sumy, via two routes, to Poltava, as proposed by Ukraine, and to Belgorod, further on by air, rail and road to chosen points of destination or temporary accommodation centers, " Mizintsev said.

"We were closely watching objective-monitoring tools, including by unmanned aerial vehicles. There was no sign of preparations for humanitarian columns and no one showed up at the opened humanitarian corridors," Mizintsev said.

"It was established that in those cities peaceful residents and foreign citizens were simply barred by nationalists who threatened them with physical reprisals," he said.