A Ukrainian MP, along with Russian officials, has rejected an ultimatum given by Russia to surrender troops in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.
Oleksiy Goncharenko, MP from Odessa, Ukraine, told the BBC: “Ukrainian troops will not surrender in Mariupol. I spoke to them yesterday. I know they will fight to the end. ”
Petro Andrewschenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, said in a telegram that “despite Russia’s offer to provide a ‘surrender corridor’ for the remaining troops, our defense forces have kept their resistance intact.”
On Sunday, Russia set a time limit for handing over arms to Ukrainian troops and “foreign mercenaries” from 8am to 1pm Moscow time, saying those who would lay down their arms would be accorded the status of prisoners of war and would be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that it had taken control of all other areas of the city on Saturday, with only a handful of Ukrainian troops now stranded in the area around the huge Azovstal steel plant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the withdrawal of Ukrainian fighters from Mariupol would end peace talks ending the war.
Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko called Russia’s massacre in Mariupol “genocide”. He estimated that there were about 100,000 people in the besieged city. It is estimated that more than 20,000 people were killed.