Ukrainians Using Their People as Human Shields — says Russia

By our records, 200 thousand civilians are trapped in Mariupol alone and held at gunpoint by the Azov battalion. The humanitarian situation in cities deteriorates rapidly.” … Many Ukrainians fled to Russia. Russian-occupied cities are peaceful.

“I don’t want to be a shield”: people stuck in Kharkiv say they are tired of being a cover for the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine

(Excerpts by


The Permanent Representative of the United States accused us of not complying with our obligations to create safe humanitarian corridors.

Let’s sort this out.

Let me underscore that a threat to civilians in Ukraine is posed not by Russian military who do not target civil infrastructure, but by Ukrainian radicals and neo-Nazis who hold population of several cities as hostages. Using civilians as a human shield, they do not let them exit cities even despite humanitarian corridors and ceasefires arranged by the Russian forces. This can be proven by numerous examples.

On 4 March, Russian Defense Ministry and Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister I.Vereshchuk negotiated parameters of humanitarian corridors from Mariupol to Zaporozhye and from Volnovakh to Denepropetrovsk. They should have opened at 10 am on 5 March. As requested by Kiev, representatives of the ICRC were invited to the areas of humanitarian passages. The Russian side was ready to render comprehensive assistance to maintain security during the evacuation. We informed the UN Secretariat about that in due course.

However the Ukrainian radicals who were in Mariupol violated this agreement. As we take it from an intercepted communication of two commanders of the Azov battalion, the radicals in Volnovakh received an order to kneecap those heading towards humanitarian corridors. Those who dared to leave Mariupol at their own peril and risk, were shot by Ukrainian Nazis at checkpoints when trying to exit the city. Again, there is plenty of video evidence proving this.


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