Russia and Ukraine blame each other for Failing to Evacuate Civilians
Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for failing to evacuate civilians under a previously agreed ceasefire.
Russia has not complied with the agreed ceasefire in some parts of Ukraine, and this has thwarted the evacuation of civilians from cities where fighting is taking place, such as Mariupol, Zelensky's adviser Alexey Arestovich was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Russia and Ukraine Cease Fire to Evacuate Civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha
Earlier, authorities in the port city of Mariupol said they were postponing the evacuation due to shelling by Russia. Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov told the BBC that Mariupol was still under fire, and there were reports that fighting was taking place near the end of the evacuation route.
“They continue to use artillery and missiles to fire on Mariupol, and people are very scared.”
Authorities urged Mariupol residents to disperse and seek refuge or, if possible, return home. The city with a population of about 450,000 people on the Sea of Azov is surrounded by Russian forces.
The Russian Ministry of Defense, for its part, said no one had taken advantage of the two humanitarian corridors near Mariupol and Volnovakha. Moscow has accused Ukrainian nationalists of not allowing people to evacuate.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said he is not optimistic about peace talks following angry statements by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Lavrov, Zelensky's ultimate goal is to provoke a war between Russia and NATO.
Despite the temporary ceasefire, hostilities in Ukraine continue. The shelling in the eastern city of Sumy began at 05:00 a.m. local time. Numerous explosions were also heard in Kharkiv. There are warnings of air strikes in the capital Kyiv, in the cities of Zhytomyr and Chernihiv.
British intelligence said earlier today that fewer Russian air and artillery strikes had been carried out in the past 24 hours than in previous days. According to the London Ministry of Defense, Russian forces are advancing towards the southern port city of Mykolaiv, and some of them may be heading to Odessa.
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