SELIGER, Tver Region, August 29 (RIA Novosti) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said that according to latest information, Ukrainian authorities have decided not to pull out troops surrounded by militia in eastern Ukraine.
“The latest information is this: the leadership, the command force of the Ukrainian Army decided not to free them from this pocket, but instead decided to make attempts to move the opposition troops and go out with a fight," Putin said.
“This is a huge mistake that will lead to many human victims."
Putin explained why he had turned to the leaders of the self-proclaimed leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to create a corridor so that the trapped Ukrainian military could retreat.
“I saw the reaction of the mothers and wives of military personnel from the Ukrainian Army who ended up in this pocket. This is a tragedy for them and that’s why I turned to the leaders of Donbas to open a humanitarian corridor so that these people could leave," Putin said.
Earlier today, the Russian president urged militia to open a humanitarian corridor "in order to avoid pointless casualties, and to give them an opportunity to freely leave the area of military action, reunite with their families, to return them to mothers, wives and children, to provide medical help to the wounded as a result of the military operation."
The prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko said Friday that the republic’s militia would set up a humanitarian corridor for the besieged Ukrainian forces provided they give up their weapons.
On Thursday, the militia announced that they surrounded Kiev’s forces outside the small town of Ilovaisk, 22 miles from Donetsk, and captured the checkpoints and strongholds of Ukrainian special forces in the outskirts of the southern town of Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov.
In mid-April, Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the southeast of Ukraine after they refused to recognize the legitimacy of a coup-imposed government.
According to the United Nations, more than 2,000 people have died as a result of the confrontation, and more than 4,950 people have sustained injuries in the fighting.