Ukraine has launched a new effort to rescue civilians from Mariupol after the Red Cross warned that thousands of lives depended on the successful evacuation of people trapped in a city besieged by Russian forces.
A total of 45 buses were en route to the nearby southern coastal city of Bertians, and Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vareshchuk said she would work with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to assist in humanitarian aid and evacuation. The convoy was expected to enter the city on Friday morning after Russian promises of a limited ceasefire on the route from Mariupol to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Saporizia.
After four weeks of bombings and declining supplies, continuous attempts to set up humanitarian corridors to evacuate the remaining 170,000 people in Mariupol failed. Ukraine has accused Russian forces of carrying out shelling in safe ways outside several battlefields; Moscow says it refuses.
“Time is running out to help these people. This evacuation is very important,” said ICRC spokeswoman Aliona Sinenko. These instructions must be communicated to ground military units and they must be respected.
“We delivered the last items we had two weeks ago. People have nothing now. We are ready to help and hope that the safe path will work tomorrow.
Control of Mariupol, a strategic port with a population of 400,000 at one time, is still in the hands of the Ukrainian government, which will ensure Russian dominance in the Azov Inland Sea.
Along with the self-proclaimed republics recently captured by Russia in Luhansk and Donetsk and other eastern regions, it will create a land corridor from the Russian mainland to the Crimea. Therefore, it is the main center of the five-week offensive in Moscow and the civilians there have been severely affected. President of Ukraine, Volodymyr ZhelenskyIt said Friday that at least 5,000 people had been killed in the attack on Mariupol.
Water, food and medicine are in short supply, and many families are unable to bury loved ones killed in airstrikes and shelling due to the onslaught of the Russian offensive. A maternity hospital, an art center for displaced people and a Red Cross warehouse were all attacked, while residents and undamaged cars that found the fuel took their lives and fled.
A successful exit on Friday morning will greatly enhance the opportunity for improvement Peace talks, Is also scheduled to restart online tomorrow. With the same token, the possibility of major improvements would be reduced if the humanitarian route was attacked again.
Ukraine and its Western allies are skeptical of Moscow’s comments. This included the withdrawal of troops from certain parts of the country to focus on “liberating” the eastern region.
On Thursday, Ukraine’s state nuclear company said that after the February 24 invasion, most of the Russian troops occupying the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had left for the Belarusian border, with only a small number remaining. Russian forces have also withdrawn from the nearby town of Slovdich, where power station workers live.
Despite claims of a widespread retreat earlier this week, Russian forces continued to bomb the northern city of Chernihiv, while the governor of the region, Vyacheslav Sass, said Russian troops were moving but could not be withdrawn.
“The enemy is losing. It moves in the Chernihiv region. Can this be called a troop withdrawal? I’m not sure. At the very least, it reassembles, but it is possible to undo. We must not compromise our security, ”he wrote in a telegram.
Ukrainian officials say there have been artillery attacks in and around the northeastern city of Kharkiv in the past day, and heavy fighting has continued in several suburbs of the capital, Kiev, where Ukrainian forces have resisted.
Untested images and videos from the Kharkiv news channel Telegram on Thursday showed massive damage from a large farm 18 miles (30 km) northeast of the city. Russia’s Defense Ministry has announced new overnight strikes on Ukrainian gas stations.
Interior Ministry adviser Vadim Denisenko said a corridor between the two eastern cities – Izyum and Volnovakha – was becoming a major battleground.
As another sign of Russia’s intention, Russian state news agencies report that Denis Bushlin, the top rebel leader in Donetsk, has ordered Mariupol to form a rival city government.
Zelenskiy said on Thursday that the ongoing fighting confirms Ukraine’s suspicion that Russia is using it to cover up talks about expansion, to prepare its forces for a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine.
Thousands of Ukrainians and Russian soldiers have died and about 4 million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” to disarm his neighbors.
Despite fierce Ukrainian opposition, poor equipment and poor morale among Russian troops, Moscow struggled to bring any significant territory under control.
Western intelligence agencies have said they are Putin’s advisers Afraid to tell him the truth About the extent of the damage to the Russian economy caused by a halted attack and disabled international sanctions.