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Russian MoD: Kiev Ordered Nationalist Battalions to Disguise as Civilians to Leave Mariupol

© Sputnik / Maxim Blinov / Go to the mediabankA Russian serviceman guards the area of Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic.
A Russian serviceman guards the area of Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2022
Russia has accused nationalist fighters operating in Ukraine of using civilians as a "human shield" and ordering militants fighting in Mariupol to become "martyrs".
Kiev "hypocritically" ordered the nationalist battalions to leave Mariupol in small groups disguised as civilians, head of the National Defence Management Centre of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mizintsev said Monday.
According to him, the Ukrainian authorities ordered the nationalist battalions to use all available means to leave the city in disguise and dressed in civilian clothes, including via humanitarian corridors.
"And the bandits immediately began to carry out this order", Mizintsev said. "On 20 March, the terrorists of the Azov Battalion killed the parents of two underage children and, hiding behind these very children, in a car belonging to the family, tried to drive through the humanitarian corridor in Zaporozhye, but were identified and promptly detained by the Russian military, and the children were saved".
He went on to reveal that more than 60,000 Mariupol residents have been rescued and, after getting to Russia, these people "openly talk about all the mass atrocities and crimes perpetrated by the nationalists".
"All of them will be carefully investigated, the perpetrators will be found and will certainly receive the deserved punishment for the atrocities they committed", Mizintsev said.
Earlier, on Sunday, the top military official said that Russia was urging Kiev to cancel its orders to the nationalists fighting in Mariupol to sacrifice themselves and become "martyrs". According to Mizintsev, the nationalists were given the green light to use more than 200,000 of the city’s residents as "human shields".
Mizintsev noted that the Russian troops are aware of the "human shield" tactics and are acting carefully, avoiding the use of heavy artillery and clearing the city block by block.
The Kremlin called on international organisations to put pressure on Kiev to demand that the nationalists do not hide behind people as human shields and release them through organised humanitarian corridors.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine with the goal to "demilitarise and de-Nazify" the neighbouring country. Moscow underlined that its troops are targeting military infrastructure only and do not pose a threat to civilians. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the goal is to protect the people of Donbass, "who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years".
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