Russia said on Saturday that its forces would stop firing around two Ukrainian cities to allow civilians to leave. Following is what we know so far.
Russia’s defense ministry said on Saturday that a “regime of silence” would be observed on Saturday around Mariupol and Volnovakha to allow civilians to leave. It said it had been agreed with Ukraine.
The phrase used in Russian is slightly different to the accepted translation of ceasefire but means essentially the same. Russian news agencies translated it into English as “ceasefire.”
“From 1000 a.m. Moscow time (0700 GMT), the Russian side declares a ceasefire and the opening of humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to leave Mariupol and Volnovakha,” Russian news agencies quoted the Russian defense ministry as saying.
It was not immediately clear why other Ukrainian cities were not involved.
An adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry said there would be agreements on humanitarian corridors for other cities.
Ukraine said it planned to evacuate 200,000 people from Mariupol and 15,000 from Volnovakha. The Red Cross is the guarantor of the ceasefire, according to Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Minister for reintegration of temporary occupied
Territories, Iryna Vereshchuk, said the government was looking into reports from the Ukrainian military that the Russian troops were using the ceasefire to advance towards Mariupol.
Mariupol city authorities urged civilians to leave.
“When our home city is constantly under the ruthless fire of the occupiers there is no choice other than to allow residents - us - to leave Mariupol safely,” Mayor Vadim Boichenko said on Telegram.
The route of the corridor is Mariupol - Nikolske - Rozivka - Polohy - Orikhiv - Zaporizhzhia.
Russia’s defense ministry spokesman said a broad offensive continued against Ukraine.
The ministry said 82 Ukrainian aircraft, 708 tanks and other armored vehicles, 74 multiple rocket launchers and 56 drones had been destroyed, RIA said.
“The armed forces of the Russian Federation continued to carry out strikes on the military infrastructure of Ukraine,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
He said forces from Donetsk were continuing to tighten the encirclement of Mariupol. Russia did not disclose combat losses.
Ukraine said Russian combat deaths since the February 24 start of the invasion were more than 10,000 and that it had destroyed 269 tanks.
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