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Kyiv, Moscow trade blame over failed evacuation as Russian assault grinds on -Breaking


© Reuters. A tank is seen with servicemen of Ukraine’s armed forces at their positions outside Makariv. They are there amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. REUTERS/Maksim Levin


Pavel Polityuk, Aleksandar Vasovic

LVIV/KYIV Ukraine (Reuters). LVIV/KYIV Ukraine (Reuters) –Russia and Ukraine claimed Saturday that they failed to allow civilians safe passage after being bombarded and besieged by Russian forces in two cities. This was the 10th day into a conflict which has fueled Europe’s worst humanitarian crisis for decades.

Since February 24, Russia has invaded Ukraine, causing 1.5 million refugees to flee westwards into Europe. This conflict has prompted unprecedented international sanctions and warned of global recession.

Russian defence ministry claimed that its units opened humanitarian corridors in the vicinity of Volnovakha (and Mariupol) which were being encircled.

Mariupol however, stated that Russia is not following the ceasefire. The city council asked its residents to return home to shelters to await more information about evacuation.

The Russian defence ministry claimed that Ukrainian “nationalists,” RIA reported.

Moscow has seized the southeastern port from Ukraine after it was subject to heavy bombardment. This is a clear sign of Moscow’s strategic importance due to its location between Russian-backed separatist-held east Ukraine and Black Sea Crimean, which Moscow took in 2014.

According to aid agency, a doctor from Doctors without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres said that “this night the shelling had been harder and more intense.” It was difficult to get power, water or heating, and there was no food.

According to the Ukrainian government, it was planned for around 200,000 people to be evacuated from Mariupol and 15,000 residents from Volnovakha.

On Saturday, only 17 people were evacuated to Mariupol. No one was left Volnovakha.


The Russian defense ministry stated that a large offensive in Ukraine would be continued despite the ceasefire plan’s limitations. It denies invading civilians and targets civilians, and calls its actions “special military operations”.

According to Igor Konashenkov, Defence Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, Russian forces had carried out strikes against military infrastructure while separatist-held Donetsk forces tightened the encirclement on Mariupol.

According to the United Nations refugee agency, there could be a national humanitarian catastrophe. Head of UN Refugee Agency, Peter Boerhorst said Saturday that 1.5 million refugees may be added to their numbers by Sunday.

Children and women were able to cross the Medyka border in south-eastern Poland, despite freezing conditions. One man crossed the other direction and shouted at the crowd, “Men should go to Ukraine and fight!”

The mother of a young boy and half-dozen bags was struggling to transport her snacks. She wept after the bag she had packed fell to pieces. While they were trudging slowly along, she handed the bag to her boy.

The decision of President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine has been condemned by the world. According to officials in Ukraine, there have been thousands of civilians wounded and killed.

Moscow claims its goal is to dearm its neighbor, stop NATO aggression, and capture the leaders it considers neoNazis. The West was accused by Moscow of acting as a bandit on Saturday and threatened to strike back without giving any details.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson said that “As you know there must be an corresponding response economic banditry.”

International diplomacy also has been shaken over Iran’s nuclear program, which is one of few areas in which Russia and the United States have worked together to curtail what the West believes to be an Iranian plan for nuclear weapons development.

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, stated Saturday that the West’s new sanctions against his country were a hindrance to a deal with Iran.

A high-ranking Iranian official stated to Reuters that Russia’s stance wasn’t helpful.

Please Close the Sky

Ukraine claims that Russian forces focused their efforts on Kyiv/Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. They also aim to build a landbridge to Crimea.

Kyiv was once again in danger of being straddled by a Russian armored column, which has been stuck outside Kiev for several days. Explosions could be heard from the centre of the city.

British intelligence reported that Russian air strikes had fallen in the past 24 hours, but they were still advancing in Ukraine’s south.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president was scheduled to ask Washington for additional help during a video conference with the U.S. Senate. The call will take place at 9:30 AM. ET (1330 GMT) Saturday.

NATO allies rejected Ukraine’s request for no-fly zone requests at a meeting Friday. They said they are increasing their support, but could step in direct to make matters worse.

Solomiya Zdryko (age 18), fled Lviv in west Ukraine and said, “Please close all windows…because people have died.”

Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary Of State was in Poland Saturday to meet with Polish officials and discuss humanitarian and security assistance. Most of the people fleeing Ukraine are now in Poland.

Oleksii Reznikov (Ukraine’s Defence Minister) stated that 66.224 Ukrainians have returned to Ukraine from other countries in order to help fight Russia’s invasion. He posted online that Ukrainens are “invincible”

According to the Ukrainian military, armed forces are fighting “fiercely” in order to free Ukrainian cities from Russian occupation. They also counter-attacked certain areas and interrupted communications.

It stated that “Units are being demoralized by the invaders, officers and soldiers of the occupying armies continue to surrender and flee, leaving behind weapons and equipment on Ukrainian soil.” The report also said that 40 Russian helicopters and 39 Russian planes were destroyed.

Russia stated that it had destroyed 82 Ukrainian planes, 708 armoured vehicle, 74 multiple rocket launchers, as well as 56 drones.

Reuters was unable to verify these accounts independently from any side.

Russian forces made significant advances in the southern part of Ukraine, where they captured Kherson, the first Ukrainian-sized city.

A crowd of about 250,000 protestors marched the streets of Kiev on Saturday waving Ukrainian flags, shouting, “Kherson, Ukrainian!” While Russian troops watched,