Russia says offensive will end when Ukraine surrenders

Moscow - The Russian military claimed on Tuesday that it struck a weapons depot in central Ukraine the previous day and the resulting explosions hit a closed shopping mall.
A Russian missile strike on a crowded mall in the city of Kremenchuk on Monday killed at least 18 people, Ukrainian authorities say, and Group of Seven leaders have branded the assault “a war crime”.
The strike hit “a depot with weapons and ammunition from the USA and European countries in the vicinity of the Kremenchuk automobile factory”, the Russian military said in a statement.
“The explosions of ammunition for Western weapons sparked a fire in the nearby shopping mall, which was not operational at the time.”
The Kremlin backed the Russian military’s statement, saying the defence ministry’s explanations were “exhaustive.”
“I have nothing to add,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Also, The Kremlin said Tuesday that Russia would halt its offensive as soon as Ukraine surrenders, urging Kyiv to order its troops to lay down their arms.
“The Ukrainian side can stop everything before the end of today,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“An order for the nationalist units to lay down their arms is necessary,” he said, adding Kyiv had to fulfil a list of Moscow’s demands.
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged world powers to do their utmost to help end Russia’s intervention by the end of the year.
He also said the time had not yet come to hold talks with Russia, as Kyiv is seeking to consolidate its positions, France said.
Asked to comment on Zelensky’s statements, Peskov said: “We are guided by the statements of our president -- the special military operation is going according to plan and achieving its goals.”

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