Following allegations that Russian forces had violated local ceasefire agreements for the third day in a row, Ukrainian officials announced they will try again to evacuate stranded residents through six “humanitarian corridors”
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said one of the corridors would be in the beleaguered southern port city of Mariupol, and that Ukrainian military forces had agreed to halt fire in specific regions from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time. She also encouraged Russian soldiers to follow through on their promises to respect local ceasefire agreements.
Later, an AFP report claimed a Ukrainian official as claiming that both sides had agreed to maintain evacuation corridors open throughout the day.
At least ten people were killed in a Russian military strike on the eastern Ukrainian town of Severodonestk on Tuesday, prompting talk of a new attempt to rescue stranded inhabitants.
The Russian military “opened fire” on private residences and other structures in the town, according to a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app by a local official for the Lugansk area. In recent days, the region has witnessed a lot of violence.
An air alert had been issued earlier in the day in and around Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and citizens were encouraged to seek cover as soon as possible. There was a threat of a missile attack, according to regional administration chief Oleksiy Kuleba. “An air warning has been issued for the Kyiv region. A missile assault is a possibility. “Everyone should go to the shelters right away,” he added.
A top Ukrainian official said there had been small, unexplained progress toward constructing safe corridors that would allow civilians to flee the conflict after the third round of talks between the two sides ended Monday. According to Russia’s lead negotiator, the routes should be operational by Tuesday.