A Russian-backed separatist official said that at least 1,200 civilians, including 127 children, are being "held hostage" at a chemical plant in the besieged Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk.
Speaking to the Russian state news agency TASS, the pro-Russian Luhansk People's Republic's interior minister, Vitaly Kiselev, alleged that Ukrainian forces were keeping civilians at the Azot plant "against their will."
Russia has told the militants to come out of the plant immediately and stop their "senseless resistance and lay down arms". Again like Mariupol, it's another 'surrender or die' message. The Ukrainian side is saying the Russian version of events is propaganda, charging that Russian invading forces have trapped civilians inside the large plant.