Surrounded Ukrainian troops to be allowed to leave
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on pro-Russian forces in Ukraine to provide a humanitarian corridor for the Ukrainian soldiers they have surrounded.Source: Tanjug
Leaders of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk accepted this initiative - provided that the troops first disarm.
"With all due respect for Vladimir Putin, president of the country that was the first to give us moral support, we are ready to provide a humanitarian corridor for the besieged Ukrainian soldiers provided they surrender heavy weapons and ammunition so that it cannot be used against us," said the prime minister of the People's Republic of Donetsk, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Itar-Tass reported.
Putin has also called for urgent medical assistance to all who were wounded in military actions.
The Ukrainian military reacted to this by saying that Putin's call to open a humanitarian corridor was "proof that pro-Russian activists in the east are controlled by the Kremlin."
The Russian president also announced that Russia will continue to provide humanitarian aid to civilians in the east of Ukraine.
American President Barack Obama, meanwhile, blamed Russia for escalating the violence in eastern Ukraine and stated that the latest images clearly show that Russian soldiers are within Ukrainian borders, which will "bring additional consequences" for Moscow.
Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin responded by saying Kiev is waging war against its own people.
He did not deny the presence of Russian fighters in Ukraine. "There are Russian volunteers in eastern parts of Ukraine. No one is hiding that," the diplomat said, and asked about "western advisors," and about where the Ukrainian army was receiving weapons from.
Churkin added he wanted to send a message to Washington: "Stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states."