Putin to Macron: Ukraine breaches ceasefire, blocks evacuation in Mariupol
The Ukrainian "nationalists", according to Putin, are framing Russia for provocation at NPP.
In a phone call with Macron, Putin put the blame on Kiev for failed evacuation attempts from the 10th largest city in Ukraine, Mariupol, which is surrounded by Russian troops in the timebeing.
The Russian President drew attention to the fact that Kiev is not fulfilling its agreements regarding the crtitical humanitarian issue, notably after they signed 2 agreements to evacuate Mariupol fell amid reports that Ukraine has been breaching ceasefire agreements.
"Ukrainian nationalists", according to Putin, prevented civilians and foreign citizens from leaving Mariupol and Volnovakha on Saturday despite the ceasefire agreements.
Putin continued to explain that the ceasefire was exploited to build positional leverage. "And the pause in hostilities was again used only to build up forces and means in their positions," he told Macron.
Furthermore, Putin expressed reassurance of the "physical and nuclear safety" of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which was recently captured by the Russian forces. Chernobyl, in addition, is also in Russian grasp.
"All this is being done in order to exclude the possibility of provocations fraught with catastrophic consequences by Ukrainian neo-Nazis or terrorists," the Kremlin remarked.
Read more: Ukrainian nationalists blow up building housing 200 civilians in Mariupol
Paris said that Putin and Macron spoke for an hour and 45 minutes.
Putin: Ukrainian radicals framing Russia for provocation at NPP
Russian President Vladimir Putin also informed French President Emmanuel Macron about the Ukrainian radical formations' attempted provocation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Following the phone call between the two leaders, a Kremlin readout said Sunday, "In connection with concerns expressed by Emmanuel Macron about ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants on the territory of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin informed him in detail about the provocation organized by Ukrainian radicals in the area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant involving a sabotage group."
The Kremlin guaranteed that the physical safety of the NPP has been secured and that its protection is being coordinated by Russian forces and Ukrainian security staff.
"Attempts to shift responsibility for this incident to the Russian military are an element of a cynical propaganda campaign. Russian troops, in cooperation with Ukrainian security forces and plant personnel, are continuing to assure the operation of the nuclear power plant in normal mode; background radiation remains at normal levels. All of these facts have been officially confirmed by the IAEA. The physical and nuclear safety of the station is under reliable protection," the readout said.
Elysee: Russia to reach aims through 'negotiation or war', Putin says
Russian President Vladimir Putinn also told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that Moscow planned to achieve its aims in Ukraine either through diplomacy or military means, the Elysee said.
Russia would reach its objectives in Ukraine "either through negotiation or through war", Putin told Macron according to a French presidential official.
Basurin weighs in
Eduard Basurin, the Spokesperson for the popular forces of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), also said that there is a chance to resume the evacuation of civilians from the city of Mariupol but Ukrainian nationalists are preventing people from leaving the city.
Earlier in the day, Basurin said that Ukrainian troops refused to ensure ceasefire in Mariupol and Volnovakha, blocking the evacuaton of civilians.
The DPR territorial defense revealed that their forces only managed to evacuate 300 people from Mariupol, in addition to its suburbs in the Novoazov region.
"Yes, there is always a chance [that the evacuation will resume]. But here the problem is different. As far as I understand, not only the nationalists do not want to let people go, but [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy also does not want to. I will explain why. For them, if they give up Mariupol, as they believe, it will be an ideological loss, an informational loss. And they are trying their best not to do it. That is why they need people as hostages in Mariupol," Basurin told Russian broadcaster Rossiya-24.
In addition to food supplies, essential food supplied in the city that include food are running low: "If we talk about supplies, I think they are [sufficient for] a day or two, no more ... In addition to food, it is water and electricity that is lacking," Basurin said.
Ceasefire in Mariupol
Yesterday, Russia declared a ceasefire for civilians to evacuate from the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha, the Russian Defense Ministry stated.
"Today, on March 5, starting at 10 a.m. Moscow time [07:00 GMT], Russia is declaring a ceasefire and humanitarian corridors are opening for civilians to leave Mariupol and Volnovakha," the Ministry said.
The Ministry added that the corridors and the evacuation routes were agreed upon with Ukraine.
"Today, on March 5 from 9 am to 4 pm a ceasefire regime will be established. The evacuation of the civilian population will begin at 11 am. The route Mariupol - Nikolske - Rozivka - Polohy - Orikhiv - Zaporizhzhia has been selected as a humanitarian 'green corridor'," the statement read.
Nazi battalions shoot Donetsk People's Republic forces
According to the Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, after entering the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, fighters from the Ukrainian Nazi battalions Azov and Aidar opened fire on DPR troops from schools, hospitals, maternity hospitals, and kindergartens.
"Soldiers of the Donetsk People's Republic continue to tighten the ring of encirclement around Mariupol," the Spokesperson said.
"Fighters of the Azov and Aidar Nazi battalions are firing at the units of the People's Militia that have entered the city from reinforced positions in schools, hospitals, maternity hospitals, and kindergartens," Konashenkov added.