Since 10 a.m. local time, weapons in Ukraine have been silent for a while to evacuate people once again and provide aid through humanitarian corridors. The Russian army has agreed to the ceasefire in Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy, but has been strongly criticized by France and Ukraine.
Russia says it will open humanitarian corridors to evacuate populations from the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumi. In addition, a “regime of silence”, a ceasefire, will apply on Monday from 10 a.m. local time, the Russian Defense Ministry announced.
According to the Russian news agency Interfax, the ministry explains that the corridors are being built because of the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumi and Mariupol, and at the personal request of the French President Emmanuel Macron to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian army announced that it would open a corridor between the capital Kyiv and the Belarusian city of Gomel, not far from the Ukrainian border. In addition, two corridors leave Mariupol to either Rostov-on-Don in Russia or west to the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya. From Kharkiv, another corridor leads to the Russian city of Belgorod. The citizens of Sumi can either go to Belgorod or to the Ukrainian Poltava.
Russia’s decision has already been strongly criticized. “Completely immoral,” spokesman for Ukrainian President Zelensky called it that the humanitarian corridors that have been established lead Ukrainians to Belarus and Russia. “Those people should be able to move to safe places on Ukrainian soil,” he said. “This is completely immoral of Russia. These are Ukrainian citizens, and they have every right to be evacuated within their own country.”
France is also displeased. The corridors were created after a personal request from French President Macron. But, says Elysée at BFM TV, he is not completely satisfied with that because some of those corridors lead the fleeing residents to Russia and Belarus. “The president has not asked for that,” it sounds. “He has expressly asked for the civilians to leave and for help to arrive. But now Putin is pretending that the Ukrainians are the aggressors and that the Russians are the ones granting political asylum.”
Last weekend, two attempts to evacuate the residents of Mariupol had already failed. Both sides accused each other of violating an agreed file on the matter.