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Russia announces ceasefire plan, to open evacuation corridor from Ukraine cities

Vladimir Putin's Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. (Kremlin/Released)

Russia will carry out a cease-fire on Tuesday at 10am Moscow time and open humanitarian corridors to evacuate citizens from strife-torn cities of Ukraine — Kiev, Chernigov, Sumy and Mariupol, said Moscow’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. The evacuation plan would be subject to Ukraine’s approval, he said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered the 13th day on Tuesday. Nebenzia took the floor at the end of a UN Security Council meeting on the humanitarian crisis in the east European nation on Monday to make the announcement.

“This proposal doesn’t have any demands about the citizens being sent necessarily to Russia, into Russian territory,” he said.

“There’s also evacuation offered towards Ukrainian cities to the west of Kyiv, and ultimately it will be the choice of the people themselves where they want to be evacuated to,” Nebenzia said.

Regarding the possibilities of evacuating the Ukrainian citizens towards Russia, he said officials have ignored the fact that there were already Ukrainian refugees in the country.

His statement came after the United Nations said it needs a safe passage to deliver humanitarian aid to conflict zones in Ukraine, a senior official with the organisation told the Security Council.

“Civilians in places like Mariupol, Kharkiv, Melitopol and elsewhere desperately need aid, especially life-saving medical supplies,” said the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, while urging all sides to ensure that civilians, homes and infrastructure in Ukraine were safeguarded.

Earlier, Nebenzia said the issues of evacuation of the population from other regions, as well as the provision of humanitarian assistance are being politicised. “In particular, the requests of the Ukrainian side were voiced to us less than three hours before the opening of humanitarian corridors.”

The Russian diplomat further said that from the area of special military operation, more than 1,68,000 people have safely evacuated to Russia and in the last 24 hours, 5,550 people have crossed the border. “We’re also establishing temporary accommodation points for the civilians arriving from Ukraine.”


(c) 2022 the Hindustan Times

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