Fresh effort to evacuate Mariupol begins as temporary ceasefire announced

As key cities in his nation have been encircled by Russian troops early Monday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy criticized world leaders for what he known as silence over Russia’s introduced plan to open the week with a brand new offensive.

While it celebrated holding management of the county on the eleventh day of Russian assaults, Ukraine’s navy acknowledged the invaders’ constricting power across the capital of Kyiv and different cities together with Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mykolayiv.

“The invaders did not achieve the ultimate goal of eleven days of occupation,” it stated.

Meanwhile, Russian troops created a “land corridor” from Crimea to Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, the final employees stated.

Zelenskyy smarted Sunday over what he stated was silence from world leaders after Russia’s Defense Ministry on Sunday introduced plans to strike protection business targets.

“Just think about it, the feeling of impunity,” he said in a translation of a video he posted to multiple platforms. “They are announcing these atrocities ahead of time. Why? Because there is no reaction. Because there is silence.”

Earlier in the day, an attempt to evacuate civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol was halted for the second day in a row after Ukraine said Russian forces violated a temporary cease-fire with a barrage of shelling.

“The Russians began to regroup their forces,” the Mariupol City Council stated on its Telegram channel, including that “heavy shelling of the city” had resumed.

“It is extremely dangerous to evacuate people in such conditions,” the council said.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry, also accused Russia of shelling the city in a post on his personal Telegram channel.

However, an official from the Russian-backed separatist “Donetsk People’s Republic” told Russia’s RIA state news agency that the Ukrainian side refused to guarantee the cease-fire. The same official had earlier confirmed that a humanitarian corridor out of Mariupol had been set to take place Sunday.

Russia has consistently denied targeting civilians.

The International Committee of the Red Cross blamed both Ukrainian and Russian forces in a news release for failing to agree on the details of the safe passage. It estimated that 200,000 people had been preparing to leave the city.

Latest developments on Ukraine

  • For the second day in a row, a limited cease-fire is announced to let civilians leave the besieged city of Mariupol.
  • Officials in the key port city say no evacuations took place and accuse Russian forces of shelling the area.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns that Russian forces could be planning an attack on the key port city of Odessa.
  • The U.S. begins talks with Poland about a deal to send fighter jets to Ukraine.
  • The World Health Organization sounds the alarm about attacks on Ukraine’s health care infrastructure.
  • American Express, TikTok and Netflix suspend business operations in Russia.

Officials in Mariupol, population 400,000, have sounded the alarm about a “humanitarian catastrophe,” saying Russian shelling has hit critical infrastructure and left the city without water, heat or electricity.

Attempts to move civilians out of Mariupol and the smaller nearby city of Volnovakha were aborted shortly after they began Saturday. Each side blamed the other.

However, more than 1.5 million people have now fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, Filippo Grandi, the head of the U.N. refugee agency, tweeted Sunday.

Grandi called it “the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.”

Pope Francis appealed for a cease-fire and peace negotiations in a speech Sunday, saying, “Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine.”

“The want for humanitarian help in that troubled nation is rising dramatically by the hour,” the pope said. “I make a heartfelt enchantment for humanitarian corridors to be genuinely secured and for help to be assured and entry facilitated to the besieged areas with the intention to supply important reduction to our brothers and sisters oppressed by bombs and worry.”

Ukrainian and Russian officials agreed to create humanitarian corridors for civilians in a second round of talks last week, although no progress was made on a broader halt to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. A third round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators is expected Monday.

Since Russia launched its offensive Feb. 24, the progress of President Vladimir Putin’s military progress has been slowed by logistical issues and Ukrainian resistance on the ground. Russia is moving increasingly to bombard cities and towns from the air.

In a phone call Sunday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Putin said his campaign in Ukraine was going to plan, according to the Kremlin’s readout of the call.

He said it would not end until Kyiv stops fighting and Russia’s “well-known demands” are met.

Putin has previously called for “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine and insisted that the country should not be allowed to join NATO. He has also called for Crimea to be recognized as part of Russia and for separatist regions in eastern Ukraine to be recognized as independent states.

French President Emmanuel Macron pushed Putin in a call Sunday to ensure the safety of nuclear power sites and to help guarantee clear passage of humanitarian aid to Ukrainians, according to an Élysée Palace source with knowledge of the call.

Putin denied allegations that his army is targeting civilian sites and laid the responsibility of evacuating civilians on Ukrainian leaders, even though Macron reminded him that it is the Russians who are on the offensive, the source said.

Putin also told Macron it is “not his intention target nuclear centers,” according to the source. He reiterated his demands to Macron as a condition of ending the attacks on Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen instructed CNN that there must be a “sturdy and clear investigation” into potential war crimes by Russians.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken additionally instructed CNN that U.S. intelligence has seen “very credible reviews of deliberate assaults on civilians.”

“We’ve seen very credible reviews about the usage of sure weapons, and what we’re doing proper now could be documenting all of this, placing all of it collectively, it and ensuring that as individuals and the suitable organizations and establishments examine whether or not battle crimes have been or are being dedicated that we are able to assist no matter they’re doing,” Blinken stated.

Blinken stated Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the U.S. is in talks with European allies about probably banning imports of Russian oil.

“I spoke to the president and the leading members of the Cabinet about this just yesterday from Europe, and we are now in very active discussions with our European partners about banning the import of Russian oil to our countries, while of course at the same time maintaining a steady global supply of oil,” he stated.

Asked whether or not the U.S. would ban Russian oil “unilaterally,” Blinken stated: “A hallmark of everything we’ve done to date has been this coordination with allies and partners. We are much more effective across the board.”

Also Sunday, American Express, Netflix and TikTok introduced that they have been suspending operations in Russia.

“In light of Russia’s ongoing, unjustified attack on the people of Ukraine, American Express is suspending all operations in Russia. As a result, globally issued American Express cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia,” the corporate stated in a press release. “Additionally, cards issued locally in Russia by Russian banks will no longer work outside of the country on the American Express global network.”

Visa and Mastercard introduced Saturday that they have been suspending operations in Russia.

A spokesperson for Netflix confirmed Sunday, “Given the circumstances on the ground, we have decided to suspend our service in Russia.”

Zelenskyy stated in video posted to his social media channels earlier Sunday that rocket hearth had destroyed a civilian airport within the central metropolis of Vinnytsia on Sunday.

In one other video, he stated Russia could possibly be making ready one other assault, this one in Odessa, which has a inhabitants of greater than 1 million individuals. Capturing Odessa, a key strategic port on the southern coast, may largely shut Ukraine off from worldwide delivery.

Appealing to the Russian individuals straight, Zelenskyy stated Ukrainians needed peace.

“This is a fight for your country, as well,” he stated.

Thousands of Russians have taken to the streets to protest the invasion. Almost 3,000 individuals have been detained Sunday at anti-war demonstrations in 49 cities throughout Russia, based on the unbiased Russia-based protest monitor OVD-Info.

Seeking to clamp down on such protests, Russia’s Parliament handed a invoice introducing sentences of as much as 15 years in jail for deliberately spreading “fake” details about the Russian military on Friday.

Zelenskyy additionally praised President Joe Biden, whom he spoke with for half-hour Saturday night, and thanked him for his decisiveness and for making ready extra sanctions.

Zelenskyy spoke with Biden by phone after he spoke Saturday with about 300 members of Congress, to whom he argued the case for establishing a no-fly zone over Ukrainian airspace.

The U.S. and its Western allies have stated making a no-fly zone can be more likely to put them on target for a direct navy confrontation with Russia and danger a wider battle.

A White House spokesperson stated Saturday that the Biden administration was in talks with Poland a couple of deal that might contain the nation’s donating its outdated Russian-made MiG fighters to Ukraine and changing them with the acquisition of U.S.-made F-16 jets.

Putin warned Saturday that any transfer to create a no-fly zone above Ukraine can be considered as “participation” within the battle.

He additionally likened crippling Western sanctions which have despatched Russia’s financial system spiraling to a declaration of battle. That didn’t cease Visa and Mastercard from becoming a member of a number of different firms in asserting that they’d droop operations in Russia.

Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Putin in Moscow on Saturday. Bennett, who instructed his Cabinet on Sunday that he tried to “assist the dialogue between all the sides,” revealed no particulars.

Israel is without doubt one of the few nations which have good working relations with each Russia and Ukraine; Bennett’s workplace stated he additionally spoke on the telephone Sunday with Zelenskyy.

Meanwhile, the civilian casualties proceed to mount. Aid businesses have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe throughout the nation as meals, water and medical provides run brief.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated Sunday that 351 civilians have been killed and acknowledged that the determine would more than likely be a lot increased.

The World Health Organization additionally stated Sunday that it had verified six assaults on Ukraine’s well being care amenities, transportation and personnel.

“Even in times of conflict, we must protect the sanctity and safety of health care, a fundamental human right,” the WHO stated in a tweet.

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