Novoazovsk - Ukraine does not consider the residents of Mariupol its citizens and allows the nationalists to use them as a human shield, Oleksandr Marunchenko, chief physician of Novoazovsk city hospital said on Wednesday.
“As I understand, Russia, when planning this operation, used the experience of the Syrian operation. Even the Islamic State terrorist group [banned in Russia] treated the civilians there as their own citizens. As their own,” Marunchenko told reporters.
“The notion of 'human shield' was voiced. To tell people to proceed and then shoot them in the back? One cannot think of anything more sordid,” he said.
He went on to say that injured children from Mariupol are admitted to Novoazovsk hospital almost every day.
“Unfortunately, not a day goes by that we do not admit injured children. And, unfortunately, we do not always have time to save everybody,” the chief physician added.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations.
In response to Russia's operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold a meeting with President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer in Moscow on Thursday.
Maurer starts his three-day visit to Moscow on Wednesday. The ICRC head is scheduled to meet with Russian officials to discuss the situation in Ukraine.
The agenda includes the discussion of key areas of the ICRC's work in the field of humanitarian response. The parties will discuss in detail the issues of providing assistance to those in need in Ukraine, the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, as well as the organization and functioning of humanitarian corridors, the statement read.
"The Russian side welcomes the committee's mediation efforts in Ukraine in accordance with its current mandate. We are convinced that Maurer's visit to Moscow will further strengthen cooperation between Russia and the ICRC in this area," the ministry said in a statement.