Russia 'Violates' Ceasefire With Shelling Of Evacuation Corridor In Ukraine
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Russia has once again been accused of violating an agreed ceasefire by shelling a humanitarian corridor being used to evacuate Ukrainian civilians.
Ukraine's foreign ministry said that Russian forces were continuing to fire on a route between the besieged city of Mariupol and Zaporizhzhia, meaning planned evacuations and the arrival of humanitarian aid could not take place.
Deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that the corridor had failed to open 'due to targeted shelling of goods and people by Russia,' and described the situation in Mariupol as 'a humanitarian catastrophe that needs the attention of the whole world.'
Russia holds 300k civilians hostage in Mariupol, prevents humanitarian evacuation despite agreements with ICRC mediation. One child died of dehydration (!) yesterday! War crimes are part of Russia’s deliberate strategy. I urge all states to publicly demand: RUSSIA, LET PEOPLE GO!— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 8, 2022
The city, located on Ukraine's south coast, has been encircled by Russian troops for days, with no access to electricity, heating or running water. Residents have been living under constant bombardment and are understood to be running out of food and medicine, with humanitarian corridors urgently requested by officials in order to resupply the city.
Ukrainian officials said that 80 trucks and 30 buses had been set to travel the route of the agreed ceasefire to bring in supplies and evacuate civilians.
In a tweet, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of perpetrating war crimes against civilians in the city, described the humanitarian crisis as 'part of Russia’s deliberate strategy.'
Multiple previous attempts at establishing corridors in the region have also failed amid accusations of Russian troops failing to uphold agreed ceasefires.
Following failed efforts to evacuate citizens over the weekend Russia announced it would be opening up corridors to Russia for Ukrainian civilians, a move which was rejected by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy as 'plain cynicism and plain propaganda.'
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 yesterday, March 7, the director of the International Red Cross said that one of the evacuation routes offered from Mariupol had been mined by Russian forces.
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian foreign ministry urged the international community to 'step up' its pressure on Russia in order to 'make it uphold its commitments.'
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