It was recently reported the Ukrainian government has boldly rejected an ultimatum by the Russian government for its fighters to lay down their arms and allow Vladimir Putin’s forces to occupy the port city of Mariupol, which has essentially been surrounded and cut off from the rest of Ukraine for several days.
The decision to reject the ultimatum means that invading forces will likely continue bombarding the city and will not allow trapped civilians to escape through a corridor the Russian military creates.
On Sunday, “Mikhail Mizintsev, the head of the Defense Ministry’s National Defense Control Center, had said Kyiv must respond to Russia’s offer by 5 a.m. Moscow time on Monday, according to Interfax,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Russian Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev said, “All who lay down their arms are guaranteed safe passage out of Mariupol,” but it was not clear what would happen to them if they did not surrender.
But on Monday morning, Mizintsev’s offer was rejected.
“‘Ukraine rejects Russia’s demand to surrender Mariupol,’ the Ukrainian government said via Twitter early Monday. It cited the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk as saying that turning over the city wasn’t an option and her demanding that Russia give civilians safe passage to exit,” the Journal reported.
“There can be no talk of any surrender, laying down of arms. We have already informed the Russian side about this,” she said.
Russia / Ukraine Poll
“I wrote: ‘Instead of wasting time on eight pages of letters, just open the corridor,’” she added.
“What Russia is trying to get Ukraine to do is to get us to give up our right to freedom,” Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko said during an interview with NPR on Monday morning in response to the Russian ultimatum. “There’s nothing that Ukrainians value more than freedom. Life without freedom is no life for us.”
The back-and-forth over Mariupol comes as the “Morning Wire” podcast reported on Monday that “Ukraine has shown remarkable resiliency against the Russian army, which has caused Russian President Vladimir Putin to implement more ‘desperate measures’ to try and break the Ukrainian people. These escalatory tactics have reportedly included forced deportations and increased targeting of civilians, including children. Neighboring Belarus is also reportedly joining Russia in the war.”
“The ongoing failure of the Russian military to capture Ukraine in a short time is leading to a notable escalation in the sort of violent tactics being used, including indiscriminate artillery strikes on civilian positions,” The Daily Wire’s Ian Haworth noted.
Despite Ukraine’s refusal to surrender Mariupol, the Journal also reported that the “Ukrainian and Russian sides agreed on eight humanitarian corridors for Monday, including some for Mariupol.”
The war in Ukraine has caused a steep spike in oil and gas prices, including in the U.S. after President Biden suspended purchases of Russian oil, which supplied about 8-9 percent of daily needs.
The war is also likely to increase already-high food prices as well due to the fact that much of the world’s grain, oats, corn, and other commodities are produced by both Russia and Ukraine. Both countries have limited or barred exports of those food items for the time being in order to ensure enough for their own populations.
In addition, Saudi Arabia announced Monday that the country would not take the blame if oil prices spike again following drone and missile attacks on oil infrastructure by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
A statement from Saudi Arabia’s government said “that it will not bear any responsibility for any shortage in oil supplies to global markets in light of the attacks on its oil facilities from Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militias,” according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
The Epoch Times added:
The kingdom further blamed Iran for allegedly equipping the Houthi militants “with the technology of the ballistic missiles” and drones that target Saudi oil refineries, “resulting in serious consequences for upstream and downstream sectors affecting” its oil exports.
“The international community must assume its responsibility to preserve energy supplies,” the Saudi statement further said, without elaborating.