Putin demands Mariupol’s submission in order to stop shelling

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that shelling of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol will cease only when Ukrainian forces surrender.


Mr Putin made the remarks during an hour-long phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday night, according to the Kremlin.


According to French officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to consider measures to evacuate inhabitants from the city.


It comes as fresh satellite images reveal the extent of the shelling’s devastation.


The photographs, published by the Earth observation company Maxar, showed residential areas reduced to rubble and Russian artillery weapons in firing positions on the city’s outskirts.


The situation in the city has been described as “dangerous” by officials from France’s Elysée Palace “”Civilian populations must be safeguarded and must leave the city if they choose to,” he said, adding that “civilian populations must be protected and must leave the city if they wish to.” They must have access to food, water, and medicine “,. “The Russian armed forces’ blockade of the city is linked to this severely poor humanitarian situation,” the statement read.


A proposal to evacuate the city has been given to Mr Putin by France, Turkey, Greece, and a number of humanitarian organizations.


According to officials, Mr Putin assured Mr Macron that he would “consider” the suggestion.


However, the Kremlin’s transcript of the call appeared to imply that Mr Putin had made no such commitments.


“In order to settle the grave humanitarian situation in this city, Ukrainian nationalist militants must cease resisting and lay down their arms,” Russian officials urged.


Mr Putin also gave Mr Macron “specific information regarding efforts taken by the Russian military to provide emergency humanitarian assistance and secure the safe evacuation” of residents from the besieged city in the south-east, according to the statement.


Russia has been accused by Ukraine of forcibly moving thousands of civilians from Mariupol to Russian-controlled territory.


The request came after the mayor of Mariupol said that thousands of people had died as a result of Russia’s assault of the port city.


Since Russian shelling began, about 5,000 people, including around 210 children, have been killed, according to Vadym Boychenko, who has been evacuated from the city.


According to Reuters, UN human rights chief Matilda Bogner expects “thousands of deaths, civilian casualties” could occur in Mariupol.


The International Red Cross has verified that one of its warehouses in the city was struck by Russian shelling, informing the BBC that all goods in the depot had been dispersed.


It also stated that it no longer has “a crew on the ground” and, as a result, could not comment on the potential for casualties or property damage.


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