Russia announced a temporary ceasefire on Saturday. for the opening of humanitarian corridors that allow the evacuation of the civilian population in the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakhain eastern Ukraine.
“Today, March 5, a ceasefire is announced starting at 10:00 Moscow time (two hours less in mainland Spain) and the opening of humanitarian corridors for the departure of civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha,” the Ministry said. Defense, according to Russian agencies. The citizens of these towns will be able to leave during a five-hour window.
According to the Ukrainian government, the plan is evacuate around 200,000 people from Mariupol and about 15,000 from Volnovakha and the Red Cross will be the guarantor of the ceasefire, which for the moment has not been announced in other areas of the country in conflict.
Mariupol City Council has confirmed that the evacuation of the civilian population has started at 11:00 local time -one hour less in mainland Spain- and will be carried out in municipal buses from three points in the city and in private vehicles, which must strictly adhere to a pre-established route, the City Council has indicated in its Telegram account.
He denounces that Russia does not respect the agreement
However, the authorities of the Ukrainian city have denounced that the Russian forces are not respecting the ceasefire. The City Council has asked drivers that they carry in their cars as many people as possible. “Dear residents of Mariúpol, as of today the evacuation of the city begins. It is not an easy decision, but as I have always said, Mariúpol is neither its streets nor its buildings. Mariúpol is its inhabitants, us”, said the mayor of the town, Vadim Boychenkoin a message to the citizens.
He explained that the task of the authorities is to protect the population and when the city “is under the merciless fire of the occupants There is no other decision than to give the population the opportunity to leave Mariupol safely.”
In a message on Telegram, Boychenko stated that the evacuation will allow “that begin restoration of critical city infrastructure (electricity, water and mobile communications). It will also be possible to provide Mariupol with essential products and medicines.”
Advisor to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Anton Herashchenkohas stated that “definitely there will be more agreements like this for the rest of the territories”, in reference to the humanitarian corridor agreed on this Saturday.
On the brink of “humanitarian catastrophe”
Russia and Ukraine agreed open humanitarian corridors in the second round of negotiations that they kept their respective delegations on Thursday in Belarusian territory and declare a temporary ceasefire in those places to allow it.
Boychenko announced at dawn that this Saturday the possibility of opening a humanitarian corridor for Mariúpol, to shores of the Sea of Azov and blocked by Russian forces.
On Friday for the fifth day the city of the Donetsk region, with almost 450,000 inhabitants, was besieged by Russian forces. Volnovakha is located about 65 kilometers north of Mariupol.
“While we solve humanitarian problems and seek all possible ways to get Mariupol out of the blockade, our respected Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Guard, Azov Regiment, Marines, Border Guards, Sea Guards, Police and rescuers stand as a reliable shield on the outskirts of the city“wrote the mayor in the last part of the night.
“Our defenders … do not let the invaders enter Mariupol,” located in the southeast of the country, he added. The mayor said early Thursday that the city was on the verge of a “humanitarian catastrophe”as Mariupol was left without electricity, water and heating due to the constant bombardment by the Russian Army.