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Mariupol evacuation postponed as Ukraine accuses Russia of breaking ceasefire: Reports

The evacuation of Ukraine's Mariupol - surrounded by Russian forces - has been delayed, said city officials, accusing Moscow's troops of breaking a ceasefire. 

According to media reports, Russia had today declared a partial ceasefire in two war-hit Ukraine cities - including the strategic port city of Mariupol - to open humanitarian corridors for evacuation of civilians

While laying siege to Mariupol for days, Russian forces also cut its electricity, food, water, heating and transportation.
While laying siege to Mariupol for days, Russian forces also cut its electricity, food, water, heating and transportation. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@Stepovychka

"Russian forces will stop firing at 10 am Moscow time to allow humanitarian corridors out of the Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha," Russia's defence ministry told media outlets in Moscow. 

 The city's mayor Vadim Boychenko had stated that Mariupol will begin civilian evacuation at 9 am GMT. A notice allegedly from the Mariupol City Council stated that "there will be several stages of evacuation over several days so that everyone can leave".

However, hours later, Mariupol Deputy Mayor Serhiy Orlov told the BBC that the evacuation had to be postponed as Russian forces had not ceased shelling despite the ceasefire agreement. In addition, a post purportedly from the Mariupol City Council also urged residents to head to shelters and announced that the evacuation had been postponed.

Videos to news outlets and posts on social media from citizens in Mariupol also showed smoke and explosions in the city centre.

While laying siege to Mariupol for days, Russian forces also cut its electricity, food, water, heating and transportation.

The Ukraine war has forced over one million people out of their homes since the invasion began last week. More than 1,000 people in the country have died, the UN has said.

Moscow and Kyiv also reportedly plan to hold a third round of talks over the weekend. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a video from his office to counter reports that he has fled to Poland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied bombing the cities and said he is ready for "dialogue but under conditions that Russian demands are met".

The invasion has drawn condemnation and severe sanctions from Western nations balancing punishment of the Kremlin with fears of a hazardous escalation. Moscow has seized two key cities in its 10-day-long invasion, Berdiansk and Kherson on Ukraine's southern Black Sea coast.

Author
CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK, India and UAE. Connected to India covers developments around NRIs. Cover arts, political, sports, finance, entrepreneurship, business, movies, dramas, entertainment and other news for Indians living worldwide.

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