- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Russia Adjusts Routes of Humanitarian Corridors From Ukrainian Ports as Mariupol Port Clear of Mines

© Sputnik / Сергей Аверин / Go to the mediabankA vessel destroyed by shelling is seen in the sea fishing port in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic.
A vessel destroyed by shelling is seen in the sea fishing port in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.05.2022
Earlier, the head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, said that the Mariupol port would be ready to receive and dispatch cargo within the next two days.
Mariupol’s port has been cleared of mines, the Russian Defence Ministry said, adding that the port can now be safely used by civilian ships.
Russia’s Defence Ministry has also called on diplomatic missions and the International Maritime Organisation to urge owners of ships docked at Mariupol to take the vessels back to their home ports.
"Despite the fact that Russia had created conditions for the safe exit of six foreign bulk carriers previously blocked by Ukraine - Tsarevna (Bulgaria), Azburg (Dominican Republic), Smart (Liberia), Blue Star (Panama), Azov Concord (Turkey), Lady Augusta (Jamaica) - from the port of Mariupol, the authorities of the countries whose companies own these ships have not yet taken necessary measures to withdraw these vessels", the head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, said.
He added that to ensure the safe exit of foreign vessels from the ports of Odessa, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Kherson, Ochakov, and Yuzhny, the route of the corridor operating in the Black Sea has been adjusted. It is a route of 139 nautical miles with a width of three miles. The validity period is daily from 08.00 to 19.00 (Moscow time). The Ukrainian side is responsible for ensuring the safety of ships leaving ports and travelling to the collection area, Mizintsev noted.
Earlier in the day, DPR head Denis Pushilin announced that Mariupol's port will become fully operational on 27-28 May.
Shortly after the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine in late February, Ukrainian forces planted mines in the waters off Mariupol, preventing ships from safely leaving the port. The Russian Defence Ministry repeatedly said it was working to clear the port of mines and free the approach to channels and inland waters of sunken ships and other navigational hazards. Russian sappers have examined more than 1.5 million square metres of water area, 18 docks, and 32 vessels. Work to recover the port's infrastructure is also underway.
Smoke rises from the grounds of the Azovstal steel plant in the city of Mariupol on April 29, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.05.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Beaten & Denied Safe Exit: French Journo Presents Eyewitness Accounts of Azov Crimes in Mariupol
Mariupol, a city in the Donetsk People’s Republic on the coast of the Sea of Azov, was an epicentre of fierce fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, with a long-lasting siege of the Azovstal steelworks where thousands of Ukrainian nationalists and foreign mercenaries were hiding as well as hundreds of civilians who failed to flee the city when the hostilities broke out. On 20 May, the Russian Defence Ministry said that Azovstal had been liberated from Ukrainian troops, ending a month-long stand-off.
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