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One of the last European diplomats left Mariupol

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One of the last European diplomats has left the besieged Ukrainian port of Mariupol. After returning to Athens, Greek consul Manolis Androulakis said on Sunday: “Mariupol will be included in a list of world cities completely destroyed by war, like Guernica, Stalingrad, Grozny, Aleppo.”

He called on people to “unite their voices to call for a ceasefire.”

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In Greece, Androulakis is celebrated as a hero because he successfully organized the departure of numerous Greek citizens from the city to the end. A large Greek minority has existed in Ukraine since the 18th century. “We try to save as many migrants as possible,” Androulakis said.

The Greek consul Manolis Androulakis after his return to Athens.Photo: REUTERS/Louiza Vradi

He described grim scenes from the port city, where he had seen human limbs scattered through the streets after Russian attacks. Civilians would be “blinded” and “defenseless,” she said. Androulakis emphasized: “Heroes are the people who stayed there and will try to rebuild their lives from scratch.”

kyiv rejects an ultimatum to surrender

Mariupol is the last major port city on the Sea of ​​Azov under Ukrainian control. More than 2,100 residents of the city have been killed since the Russian invasion began on February 24, according to the Ukrainian government. The situation for the people of the besieged city was “catastrophic”.

On Monday night, kyiv rejected an ultimatum to hand over Mariupol to Russian forces. “There can be no talk of handing over the weapons. We have already informed the Russian side about this,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Wereshchuk told the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper on Monday night.

She described the Russian announcement as “deliberate manipulation” and “actual hostage taking”.

Russia had given the Ukrainian forces until 4am BST on Monday night to surrender. Moscow is urging Ukrainian soldiers “and foreign mercenaries to cease hostilities, lay down their arms and go to kyiv-controlled areas through humanitarian corridors agreed with the Ukrainian side,” the head of the National Defense Control Center said. of Russia, Mikhail Mizintsev.

Residents leave Mariupol. March 19 recording.Photo: IMAGO/SNA

According to him, kyiv had ordered the defenders of Mariupol to “sacrifice” and become “martyrs”.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that if the defenders surrendered, residents of the city of Mariupol could leave until 9:00 am CET. “Comfortable buses” are ready to transport refugees to Russia or, after an agreement with kyiv, to the areas controlled by Ukraine.

Ukraine talks about kidnappings

All refugees arriving in Russia will receive three hot meals a day and medical assistance. Nearly 60,000 “rescued from Mariupol” are already in Russia and “now speak openly about all the atrocities and mass crimes committed by the Mariupol authorities.”

The Russian Defense Ministry addressed the Mariupol authorities on the Telegram Internet service: “You are the ones who now have the right to make a historic decision: either you side with your people or you side with the criminals.” .”

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The Ministry threatened: “Otherwise, the court-martial that awaits them is but a small part of what they have already gained for their despicable attitude towards their own citizens, as well as for the horrible crimes and provocations they have committed.” .

A woman cooks soup in Mariupol.Photo: REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Vereshchuk denied the Russian accusations. In a video on Telegram, he said the Russians “continue to behave like terrorists.” “They say they agree with the humanitarian corridor and in the morning they bomb the evacuation site,” he warned.

The head of the Donetsk regional administration in Ukraine, Pavlo Kyrylenko, denounced that the residents of Mariupol are already being taken to Russia against their will. In special camps, their phones would be searched and they would have to surrender their Ukrainian passports. More than a thousand people have already been kidnapped. More recently, Russia has also bombed places where hundreds of civilians were seeking refuge, such as a theater and an art school. Even days after the bombing, the number of victims is unclear.

According to the newspaper, Vereshchuk said that dozens of children from orphanages had been “kidnapped” in Russia. This information could not be independently verified. However, according to reports from a nursing home operator on Sunday, 19 children had been taken from a clinic in Mariupol and taken to the pro-Russian separatist-controlled city of Donetsk. (AFP)

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