Partial ceasefire by Russia allows civilians to flee two Ukrainian cities

A Polish border guard assists refugees from Ukraine as they arrive to Poland at the Korczowa border crossing, Poland, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) – Russia on Saturday declared ceasefire near two besieged Ukrainian cities to establish a safe passage to civilians fleeing fighting, Russia’s state media reported.

Officials from the Ukrainian cities, however, said the partial ceasefire was not fully observed by Moscow.

Fleeing people are allowed to pass through a number of humanitarian corridors near the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha which were encircled by Russian troops, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 10 days ago, “unprecedented” number of traumatized people fled Ukraine, UN humanitarians said.

The humanitarian corridors could provide a safe passage for 200,000 people from Mariupol and 15,000 from Volnovakha, the Ukrainian government said.

“We are negotiating with the Russian side to confirm the ceasefire along the entire evacuation route,” the city council said and Mariupol city authorities encouraged civilians to leave.

The number of people who fled from Ukraine to neighboring European countries has reached 1.2 million, the UN refugee agency said on Saturday.

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