Evacuation Halted as Russia Violates Agreed Ceasefire in Mariupol & Volnovakha

Civilians will be allowed to leave Mariupol between noon and 5 pm, Moscow time.

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Edited By :Saundarya Talwar

In a breakthrough, the Russian military initiated a temporary ceasefire in two areas of Ukraine – Mariupol and Volnovakha – to allow civilians to evacuate on Saturday, 5 March, a statement by the Russian defence ministry indicated.

However, the Ukrainian president's office later said that civilian evacuations from the agreed routes had halted, after Mariupol’s city council indicated that Russian forces were violating the ceasefire, news agency AP reported.

According to a reports, the ceasefire was to last until 4 pm (2 pm GMT) and an evacuation along a humanitarian corridor purportedly began at 11 am (9 am GMT).

In a statement, the city council had earlier said, “We are negotiating with the Russian side to confirm the ceasefire along the entire evacuation route."

The head of the Donetsk military-civil administration, Pavlo Kirilenko, told AP that the humanitarian corridor would extend to Zaporizhzhia, which is about 226 kilometres away.

The head of Ukraine’s security council, Oleksiy Danilov, had previously urged Russia to create humanitarian corridors to allow women and children to leave.

According to the mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boychenko, the city had been “blockaded” by Russian troops, and had been rendered without water, heat or electricity.

"They want to wipe Mariupol and Mariupol residents off the face of the earth,” The Guardian quoted the mayor as saying.

NATO Refuses No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine

Meanwhile, on Friday, NATO denied Zelenskyy's request of setting up a no-fly zone over Ukraine to stop Russia's airstrikes.

Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary-general of NATO, said that while the group was helping Ukraine protect its skies, setting up a no-fly zone would require NATO forces to shoot down Russian planes, a move that could result in a war in Europe, Al Jazeera reported.

Reacting to the decision, Zelenskyy indicated, "All the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you," adding that "NATO has given a green light for further bombing of Ukrainian cities and villages."

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Topics:  Ukraine   ceasefire   Russia Ukraine Crisis 

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