Zelensky Advisor Says No Peace Talks If Russia Takes Mariupol

Russia has given the Ukrainian soldiers holding out at the Azovstal steel plant another chance to surrender

On Tuesday, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the war in Ukraine wouldn’t be settled through negotiations with Moscow if Russian forces take over the besieged southeastern city of Mariupol.

Oleksiy Arestovych said “there may be no peace talks” if Russia fully captures the city. “Then our main course of action will be the complete destruction of the enemy, relying on Western aid and the fact that the Russians have no one to get the aid from,” he said.

Zelensky made similar comments on Saturday, warning that the killing of Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol could end talks with Russia. “The destruction of all our guys in Mariupol — what they are doing now — can put an end to any format of negotiations,” he said.

Russia has said it cleared the urban areas of Mariupol, but there are some Ukrainian forces holding out inside the Azovstal steel plant. For the second time since Sunday, Russia called on the Ukrainian troops in Mariupol to surrender and said their lives would be spared.

“The Russian Armed Forces again offer militants of nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries to halt any combat operations from 12:00 Moscow time on April 19, 2022 and lay down their arms,” a Russian Defense Ministry official said, according to Tass.

At this point, it’s not clear if any Ukrainian soldiers took up Russia’s offer and surrendered. According to Russian media, about 120 civilians living next to the steel plant were evacuated through humanitarian corridors on Tuesday.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.