According to Moscow, after days of negotiations, the Russian and Ukrainian military have agreed to evacuate injured fighters from the Mariupol steelworks.
Initially, there was no official confirmation of this in Ukraine. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar declined to comment on television so as not to jeopardize the process, she said. “As the process is ongoing, we cannot say what is currently happening.”
The Ministry of Defense in Moscow, in turn, announced on Monday that a ceasefire was in effect and a humanitarian corridor would be opened. The Ukrainian fighters were to receive medical treatment in the pro-Russian separatist-controlled city of Novoazovsk in eastern Ukraine.
The government in Kyiv had always demanded that the injured be transferred to the area controlled by Ukraine or to a third country. Already in the morning, pro-Russian separatists reported that the first Ukrainian fighters had surrendered and left the steelworks with white flags.
This was later denied by the Ukrainian side. Yesterday Ukraine accused Russia of attacking the steel plant with phosphorus bombs.