MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - The prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko said the republic’s militia would set up a humanitarian corridor for the surrounded Kiev forces provided they give up their weapons.
“We are ready to provide the Ukrainian forces encircled in those traps with humanitarian corridors, under condition that they give up military hardware and ammunition, so that all that is not used against us in the future,” Zakharchenko said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television.
On Thursday, the militia announced that they surrounded Kiev’s forces outside the small town of Ilovaisk, 22 miles from Donetsk, and captured the checkpoints and strongholds of Ukrainian special forces in the outskirts of the southern town of Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov.
Earlier on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the independence forces to open a humanitarian corridor “in order to avoid pointless casualties, and to give them an opportunity to freely leave the area of military action, reunite with their families, to return them to mothers, wives and children, to provide medical help to the wounded as a result of the military operation.”
In mid-April, Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the southeast of Ukraine after they refused to recognize the legitimacy of a coup-imposed government.
According to the United Nations, more than 2,000 people have died as a result of the confrontation, and more than 4,950 people have sustained injuries in the fighting.