According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Russian Armed Forces resumed offensive operations in Ukraine at 18:00 Moscow time. The decision was made "in connection with the unwillingness of the Ukrainian side to influence the nationalists or extend ceasefire.
As stated in the department, units of the Russian armed forces took control of the settlements of Malaya Tokmachka, Marfopol, Removka, Novokarlovka, Orlinskoye, Volodino and Malinovka.
On Saturday, March 5, the Russian Defence Ministry declared ceasefire for humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha. However, not a single civilian left those settlements through these corridors, since the population was held by nationalist formations as a human shield, the ministry said.
The Mariupol City Council, in turn, announced the postponement of the evacuation time.
On March 3, the Ministry of Defense accused the Armed Forces of Ukraine of obstructing the withdrawal of people from settlements. it was also said that Mariupol, Kiev and Kharkov were on the brink of the humanitarian catastrophe.
The siege of Mariupol continues for more than a week.
Mariupol is the second largest city in the Donetsk region, where all Kiev-loyal structures were moved after the formation of the Donetsk People's Republic. The Donbass militia have made several attempts to capture the city, but they never managed to succeed.
Mariupol is located ten kilometers far from the territories controlled by the LPR and DPR. The geographical position of the city makes this city strategically important, since the capture of Mariupol will create a land corridor from Luhansk to Donetsk and further to Crimea, Janes agency said (the agency analyzes publicly available military issues).
The land corridor will give Moscow an opportunity to safely control the Ukrainian coast of the Sea of Azov. The port of Mariupol is the largest and most well-equipped port of the Sea of Azov. Other ports in the region, including ports in the Russian cities of Azov, Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Rostov-on-Don, Taganrog and Yeysk, have capacity restrictions, whereas the port of Mariupol has deep berths, which makes it attractive for shipping. Control of a port, like the port of Mariupol, would significantly reduce shipping times and logistics between Russia, Donbass and Crimea, Janes also noted.
Up to 16,000 military men of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been entrapped near the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk