Russia on Thursday said the next step in Ukraine's southeastern city of Mariupol after its "liberation" is the “restoration of peaceful life.”
“Mariupol, which has become a place of concentration of nationalist formations, has been liberated. Today, (Defense Minister Sergey) Shoygu reported to (President Vladimir) Putin that now there is an opportunity to start restoring peaceful life, returning the population to their homes,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a press briefing in Moscow.
The spokesman added that the Ukrainian troops, besieged at the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal plant, will not hinder the restoration of peaceful life in Mariupol.
Earlier, Russia's defense minister said Thursday the Russian army has taken control of Ukraine's besieged port city of Mariupol.
"Mariupol has been liberated by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the forces of the People's Militia of the Donetsk People's Republic," Shoygu said at a meeting with Putin in Moscow.
Peskov stressed that the Ukrainian troops should lay down arms and surrender and exit the surrounded plant through safe passages. Meanwhile, Russia's "special military operation is going on according to the plan," he said.
The spokesman noted that the work of humanitarian corridors in Mariupol will be supervised by the Defense Ministry.
Speaking about the Russia-Ukraine peace talks, Peskov said Moscow did not change the composition of its delegation at the negotiations with Kyiv and expressed surprise about the statement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he did not see the Russian draft treaty.
"You and I have heard President Zelenskyy's statement that he has not received or seen any text, which also raises certain questions … (on) why President Zelenskyy is not being informed about our versions of the text," he said.
The spokesman added that the Russian side prepared and handed to the Ukrainian counterparts the last version of the document and now is waiting for a response.
At least 2,224 civilians have been killed and 2,897 injured in Ukraine so far in the war that started on Feb 24, according to UN estimates, with the true figure believed to be much higher.
More than 5 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with over 7 million more internally displaced, said the UN refugee agency.Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Mayıs 2022, 18:01