KEIVE: Russia has ordered that Ukrainian soldiers currently battling to protect Mariupol, which is under siege, put down their arms. The seeming ultimatum comes as Russia maintains its unrelenting and catastrophic assault on the city in the southeast.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, all “Ukrainian armed formations and foreign mercenaries” must leave “without exception” from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Moscow time (same as local time) “without any weapons and ammunition.”
An estimated 100,000 civilians remain in Mariupol and its environs, which are mostly under Russian control and where Ukrainian soldiers are restricted to pockets of resistance.
Here’s some background: Late Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zekensky described the situation in Mariupol, which is under siege, as “inhuman,” adding that the situation was “as awful as imaginable.”
In his most recent video speech, he stated, “Russia is purposefully attempting to destroy everyone who is here in Mariupol.”
Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated in a statement on Saturday that the Russian military shot down a Ukrainian military cargo jet transporting military equipment from Western countries.
In the Odesa area, “a Ukrainian military transport aircraft was shot down in the air” while “delivering a huge consignment of weaponry given to Ukraine by Western countries,” according to the statement.
There was no more proof given. CNN was unable to corroborate the report and sought response from the Pentagon.
According to open-source evidence, Russia claims to have destroyed more Ukrainian military aircraft than were known to be in the country’s inventory.