Ukraine crisis: Russia violates ceasefire, shells humanitarian corridor

Hours after announcing a ceasefire to open humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of foreign nationals from Sumy, Russian forces violated the agreement by shelling the corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol, according to the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Ukraine Foreign Affairs Ministry: Ceasefire violated! Russian forces are now shelling the humanitarian corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol. 8 trucks + 30 buses ready to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol & to evac civilians to Zaporizhzhia. Pressure on Russia MUST step up,” tweeted the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Russia on Tuesday had declared a ceasefire amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine from 10 am (Moscow time) to provide humanitarian corridors in the cities of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia had said in a statement.

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The development comes following the third round of talks between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus on Monday, which apparently ended up in failure. In the meeting, both sides addressed the issues of civilian evacuation and the Ukrainian side assured Russia that the humanitarian corridor will start working from Tuesday.

“From 10:00 a.m. (Moscow time) on March 8, 2022, the Russian Federation declares a ceasefire and is ready to provide humanitarian corridors,” the statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry said, giving further details of the humanitarian corridors to be created in the cities of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol for the evacuation of civilians.

“The Ukrainian side should also inform, in accordance with the established procedure, about the planned humanitarian operation before 03:00 a.m. (Moscow time) on March 8, 2022,” the statement said, while additionally seeking written approvals of the proposed humanitarian corridors from Ukrain and also guarantees of security on the declared routes of humanitarian operations by the Ukrainian authorities.

The Russian and the Ukrainian sides are also expected to be in continuous communication starting 9:30 am (Moscow time) for the mutual exchange of information on the preparation and carrying out the evacuation of civilians and foreign citizens.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has confirmed his plans to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on March 10.

Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions, Donetsk and Luhansk as independent republics followed by the announcement of a “special military operation” to “demilitarize” and “de-nazify” Ukraine.

(With inputs from ANI)

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