Putin Urges EU's Michel to Convince Kiev to Respect Humanitarian Law
12:38 GMT 07.03.2022 (Updated: 12:00 GMT 26.10.2022)
© Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation / Go to the mediabankRefugees from the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic are arriving in Russia's Rostov Region on Saturday, 19 February
© Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation/
Earlier in the day, the Russian armed forces announced a ceasefire so that the residents of Ukraine's Kiev, Mariupol, Kharkov, Sumy can leave the cities. The Russian armed forces opened six humanitarian corridors during the special operation in Ukraine, including to Zaporozhye and Poltava, the Russian defece ministry said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a conversation with the President of the European Council Charles Michel that the Russian military is taking all possible measures to save the lives of civilians in Ukraine, the Kremlin press service stated.
"Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that the Russian military is taking all possible measures to save the lives of civilians," the statement read.
Putin said that the main threats in Ukraine come from nationalist formations who use the civilian population as human shields.
Russian armed forces have announced ceasefires several times in order to ensure the evacuation of civilians, but Ukrainian nationalist battalions sabotaged the process by resorting to violence, Putin told Michel.
"The Russian president called on the European Union to make a real contribution to saving people's lives, to put pressure on the Kiev authorities and force them to respect humanitarian law," the statement said.
In addition, Putin briefed Michel on the course of negotiations with representatives of Kiev, confirming Russian demands, which include "demilitarisation and denazification" of Ukraine, recognition of Russia's sovereignty over Crimea, recognition of independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), Kiev's commitment to a non-nuclear and neutral status, etc.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February after the Donbass republics appealed for help defending themselves against the Ukrainian forces. Vladimir Putin called its goal "the protection of people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years".
For this, according to him, it is planned to carry out the "demilitarisation and denazification" of Ukraine. But there is no talk of the occupation of Ukraine, the president stressed. The Russian Defence Ministry has stressed that the Armed Forces strike only at military infrastructure. With the support of the Armed Forces the DPR and LPR groups are developing an offensive.