Russian MoD: Ukrainian Nationalists Used 150 Civilians in Mariupol as Human Shields
08:30 GMT 07.03.2022 (Updated: 09:12 GMT 07.03.2022)
© Sputnik / Виктор АнтонюкDPR People's Militia in a tank ride along the street of the village of Bugas.
© Sputnik / Виктор Антонюк/
Earlier in the day, the Russian armed forces announced a ceasefire from 10:00 a.m. (07:00 GMT) for the residents of the Ukrainian cities of Kiev, Mariupol, Kharkov and Sumy to evacuate.
The Russian Defence Ministry said that Ukrainian nationalists in Mariupol used about 150 civilians as human shields and opened fire on DPR fighters from behind the civilians' backs.
"Yesterday at around 17.00 Moscow time, on Pobedy Avenue in Mariupol, DPR servicemen collided with a unit of Ukrainian armed nationalists. The militants drove more than 150 civilians ahead of them, hiding behind them as a 'human shield'," Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
Since the beginning of the military's special operation, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 2,396 military facilities in Ukraine, Konashenkov said.
"In total, 2,396 military infrastructure facilities of Ukraine were destroyed during the operation. Among them: 82 control points and communication centres of the Ukrainian armed forces, 119 S-300, Buk M-1 and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as 76 radar stations," he said.
He specified that 827 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 84 multiple launch rocket systems, 304 field artillery and mortar guns, 603 units of special military vehicles, as well as 78 unmanned aerial vehicles were also destroyed.
“Last night, Russian Aerospace Forces fighter aircraft and military air defence shot down three more Su-27s of the Ukrainian Air Force in the Poltava region, one Su-25 in the Gostomel region, two Mi-24 helicopters in the Makarov region and eight unmanned aerial vehicles, including including Bayraktar TB-2,” the general said.
The armed forces have taken control of six more settlements in Ukraine, Konashenkov added.
“Today, from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time, a ceasefire has been declared and six humanitarian corridors were opened: one from Kiev to Gomel; two from Mariupol to Zaporozhye and Rostov-on-Don; one from Kharkov to Belgorod; two from Sumy to Belgorod and to Poltava," Konashenkov said.
According to him, detailed information about the humanitarian corridors was brought to the Ukrainian side in advance, as well as to the specialised structures of the UN, the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
He noted that during the opening of humanitarian corridors, the Armed Forces will carry out "continuous objective monitoring of the evacuation with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles".
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) appealed for help in defending themselves against the Ukranian forces.
President Vladimir Putin called its goal "the protection of people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." For this, according to him, it is planned to carry out "demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine", to bring to justice all war criminals responsible for "bloody crimes against civilians" in Donbass.
According to Russian Defence Ministry, the Armed Forces strike only at the military infrastructure, nothing threatens the civilian population.