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Ukraine refuses a capitulation demand in Mariupol, as Russia warns of a ‘catastrophe’

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            Ukraine has rejected Russia’s ultimatum that its soldiers in Mariupol lay down their guns and hoist white flags in exchange for safe passage out of the strategically important port city. Russia urged on Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their guns in Mariupol, Ukraine’s eastern port city, where it warned a “grave humanitarian disaster” was emerging. According to Ukrainian sources, Russia has been bombarding the surrounded southern city on the Sea of Azov, striking an art school sheltering 400 people just hours before proposing to open two passages out of the city in exchange for the surrender of its defenders.

“There can be no question of surrender or laying down of guns”, says Ukraine’s deputy prime minister. According to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a Russian aircraft damaged a school where 400 people were seeking refuge. According to local officials and humanitarian organisations, food, water, and energy are in short supply, and communications are disrupted. According to municipal authorities and relief organisations, food, water, and power are running low in Mariupol, and fighting has held humanitarian convoys at bay. “This has already been communicated to the Russian side”.

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