Russia’s MoD: Ukrainian nationalists still holding more than 6.2 thousand foreigners as hostages
Russia's Ministry of Defense has announced the evacuation of more than 25,000 civilians from Ukraine and the Donbass.
The head of the Russian National Defense Center, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Mezentsev, announced today, Tuesday, the evacuation of more than 25,000 civilians from Ukraine and the Donbass republics in one day, bringing the total of those evacuated to more than 765,000 people.
Mezentsev said, “Despite the difficulties and obstacles imposed by Kiev, the Russian armed forces during the past day solely evacuated 25,560 people to Russia from Donetsk, Lugansk, and dangerous locations in Ukraine, including 3,482 children, bringing the total of the evacuees since the start of the special military operation to 756,779 people, including 144,105 children.”
The Russian defense official confirmed that Ukrainian nationalists are still holding more than 6.2 thousand foreigners from 11 countries as hostages and human shields.
Last month, Mikhail Mezentsev told reporters Kiev only agreed to establish two humanitarian corridors out of the ten proposed by Russia, none of which were into Russia. The agreed-upon corridors are in the direction of Kiev and Mariupol.
Despite no corridor leading into Russia, Mezentsev said there were 2.6 million people in Ukraine who would like to go to Russia out of fear of the nationalists.
At the same time, Russia’s MoD said, "So far, neo-Nazis in Ukraine have more than 7,000 citizens from 21 countries as hostages, and they are using them as human shields."
He also noted noting that 76 foreign ships are still trapped in Ukrainian ports, pointing out that the danger of Kiev’s shelling and mines in its internal and territorial waters do not allow ships to navigate freely at sea.
The Russian armed forces have continued, since February 24, to carry out a special military operation to protect the Donbass region, in southeastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia does not plan to occupy Ukrainian lands; He explained that Russia's goal is to protect people who, for eight years, were subjected to persecution and genocide by the Kiev regime.
In response, Western countries imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia due to its military operation in Ukraine, affecting the financial and economic sectors, including banning dealing through the SWIFT system for international banking transactions, freezing the assets of the Russian Central Bank in Western countries, as well as closing the airspace to Russian aircraft.