Putin's forces give Ukraine fighters hours to surrender in chilling Mariupol ultimatum


Military analysts have signalled the southeastern port city appears to be edging closer to falling into Russian hands. Now, the Russian Armed Forces have ordered Ukrainian troops to leave a part of the city which has been under particularly heavy fire from midday today, on Tuesday.

The Defence Minister said in a statement: “Given the catastrophic situation at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works, as well as guided by purely humane principles, the Armed Forces of Russia once again offer militants of nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries from 12pm Moscow time to stop any hostilities and lay down their weapons from 12pm Moscow time.”

Noon in Moscow time is 10am in British Summer Time.

Russia has called on Ukrainian troops to leave the steel plant between 2pm and 4pm Moscow time “without any weapons and without ammunition”.

The Ministry added those who lay down their arms “are guaranteed to remain alive”.

It did not specify what further action would be taken if Ukrainian forces do not surrender.

Troops turned down a similar offer made on Easter Sunday, amid what Pope Francis branded an “Easter of War”.

He said: “May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of the cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged.”

After stressing troops were still fighting to keep hold of Mariupol, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said over the weekend: “The city still has not fallen.”

READ MORE: Russians captured in Ukraine could be swapped for British prisoner

It is expected Russia’s surrender request will be rejected again today.

More to follow.


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