MOSCOW: Since 21 March 2022, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have been announcing daily humanitarian pauses during which a full ceasefire is imposed to evacuate all civilians from the city of Mariupol, without exception, in any direction they choose. The Russian side has done, and continues to do so, purely on humanitarian principles towards the civilian population. At the same time, the introduction of ceasefire led to a significant slowdown in the pace of the advance of troops and the postponement of the tasks of destroying the formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and neo-Nazis in the city.
But, thanks to the measures taken, it was possible to evacuate 143,631 civilians and 341 foreign citizens from Mariupol, as well as to carry out the safe withdrawal of 1,844 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who surrendered. All of them have their lives saved, safety is ensured and qualified medical care is provided. All this was done without any participation of the Kiev authorities, but towards the citizens of their own country.
These statistics indicate that the accusations of the authorities of Ukraine and the countries of the so-called civilized West against the Armed Forces of Russia and the formations of the Donetsk People's Republic are groundless in creating some obstacles to the exit of civilians and not providing conditions for the surrender of Ukrainian servicemen. These blatant lies and deception spread by the collective West in order to discredit the actions of the Russian Armed Forces during a special military operation have become almost around the clock. It is enough to look at the materials posted on the website of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation in the section of the Joint Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response, where we scrupulously keep the entire chronology of events every day. Anyone, including those who make loud statements, both official and unofficial persons of Ukraine and the Western "civilized world", will find all the exhaustive answers there.
The Russian Federation consistently informs the entire world community about its actions. For our country, this fundamental issue in the conditions of round-the-clock baseless information hysteria filled with millions of fake messages has been and remains one of the main aspects of all activities in the Ukrainian direction.
That is why, in accordance with this principled position, as well as guided by purely humane principles and in response to the ongoing allegations of the Ukrainian side about the alleged presence of civilians on Azovstal, we once again declare that Russia is ready to introduce a ceasefire at any moment and declare a humanitarian pause for the evacuation of civilians (if such they are actually located in the underground structures of the combine), as well as Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen who have expressed a desire to lay down their arms, militants of nationalist battalions, including wounded Ukrainian servicemen, whose presence is also announced daily by Kiev officials.
At the same time, the actual beginning of the humanitarian pause is the raising of white flags by Ukrainian armed formations around the perimeter or in certain directions of Azovstal.
In case of detection of such signs in any of the directions of the Azovstal metallurgical plant, the Armed Forces of Russia and the formations of the Donetsk People's Republic immediately cease any hostilities and provide safe access to the gathering places of humanitarian convoys.
Once again, we bring the principled approaches of the leadership of the Russian Federation on this humanitarian initiative:
1 Delivery of the civilian population is carried out to any point, both to the territory controlled by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and to the Russian Federation (this decision is made by everyone independently).
2 The surrendered servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, militants of nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries are guaranteed the preservation of life.
3 The specified categories of citizens are guaranteed complete security.
4 All, without exception, will be provided with qualified medical care, including primary care at collection points.
This humanitarian initiative on the part of the Russian Federation operates around the clock.
5 In order to implement the measures of this humanitarian action, the Russian side in the city of Mariupol keeps a sufficient number of buses, motor vehicles for transporting people, as well as ambulances with medical and nursing teams in constant readiness.
6 This urgent statement is subject to immediate communication to the United Nations, the OSCE, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international organizations, diplomatic missions of all foreign states through all available communication channels and information resources.
7 The specified statement will be continuously brought to the Ukrainian formations at Azovstal on all radio channels with an interval of every 30 minutes.
8 Through operational communication channels, this statement is immediately communicated to the Ukrainian side through the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Ukraine Vereshchuk Irina.
9 The specified urgent statement is subject to immediate publication on all information resources.