MOSCOW, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday called on militia in southeastern Ukraine to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukrainian servicemen.
"I am calling on forces to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukrainian servicemen in order to avoid senseless casualties, enable them to get out of the combat areas unimpededly and reunite with their families ... to give urgent medical aid to those wounded in the military operation," reads the presidential address released by the Kremlin press service.
The militia have succeeded in cutting short Kiev's military operation, "which has already resulted in tremendous casualties among civilians," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Putin as saying.
"Russia is ready and will continue to provide humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people suffering from a humanitarian disaster," Putin added.
He urged the Kiev authorities "to immediately abandon combat actions, cease fire, and sit down at the negotiating table together with representatives of Ukraine's eastern regions in order to settle, exclusively in a peaceful way, all the problems that have piled up."
The conflict between government troops and pro-independence militia has killed more than 2,000 people in eastern and southeastern Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands of others displaced.