Moscow announces a ceasefire in Mariupol

The Russian Army has announced a ceasefire in Mariupol from 10 am this Thursday to open a humanitarian corridor that allows the evacuation of civilians from the city, besieged for weeks and a key point of the war in Ukraine.

In Mariupol there are still some 160,000 people who live incommunicado, without electricity or heating, and previous attempts at an evacuation truce have failed.

The Ukrainian authorities have launched a 45 bus convoy heading towards the city after receiving confirmation from the International Committee of the Red Cross. “Tonight we received a message from the International Committee of the Red Cross that Russia confirms its readiness to open access for a humanitarian convoy to Mariupol. through the city of Berdyansk. We are sending 45 buses to Mariúpol,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

According to Vereshchuk, 28 buses are due to pass through the Russian-controlled town of Vasilievka, and 17 more have left from the city of Zaporizhia.

In addition, two other humanitarian corridors have been agreed, one of Melitopol and another from energizeboth in the direction of Zaporizhia.

The Red Cross, however, has warned that, “For logistical and security reasons”, the operation could be delayed until Fridaywaiting for the parties to agree on all the details, including the route, the start time and the duration.

Russia holds Ukraine responsible for the safety of civilians

The ceasefire is subject to some conditions, as explained by Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian National Defense Control Center. Moscow blames Ukraine for the safety of bus columns and has demanded that guarantees in writing the respect of the ceasefire both the Russian Army and the Red Cross and representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Russia blames the Ukrainians for earlier preventing the evacuation by their attacks on Berdyansk, a port city controlled by Russian troops. Even so, Mizintsev has estimated at 111,865 Mariupol residents evacuated since the start of the Russian “special military operation” on February 24, more than 3,000 on this last day alone.

Russia insists on accusing Ukrainian ultranationalist battalions of using civilians as human shields and to prevent the evacuation of 4.5 million people in different cities of the country.

Ukraine accuses Russia of forcibly transferring people to Russian territory

On the other hand, Ukraine has accused Russia before the UN Human Rights Council of the forced transfer of some 40,000 people from Mariupol to Russian territory.

Mariúpol, where some 5,000 people would have died under Russian bombing, according to the City Council, it is the main objective of the current Russian offensive in the Donbas. The capture of the city would be a giant step in the Russian conquest of the region of Donetskwould guarantee control of the Sea of ​​Azov and a land corridor between Russian territory and the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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