Ukrainian authorities said the evacuation in the port city of Mariupol has been postponed due to Russian shelling, after the latter declared a temporary ceasefire
The port city is reportedly surrounded by Russian forces, however, Ukrainian forces said they will be delaying the evacuation due to Russian ceasefire violations.
“Russian side does not adhere to the ceasefire, and has continued shelling both of Mariupol itself and its environs,” city officials said while adding that the evacuation has been postponed.
Russia had said earlier that it had opened humanitarian corridors near Mariupol and Volnovakha in order to allow safe passage for civilians. Reports claimed Mariupol citizens were allowed to leave the city in a five hour period even as the invasion entered the tenth day on Saturday.
Reports claim Mariupol has been heavily bombarded even as Ukrainian forces said at least 200,000 people from Mariupol and 15,000 from Volnovakha would be evacuated. However, city officials claimed that Russian forces were not adhering to the ceasefire.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the government was looking into military reports of Russian troops possibly using the time gained by the ceasefire to advance towards Mariupol.
Despite the temporary ceasefire, Russia’s defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “The armed forces of the Russian Federation continued to carry out strikes on the military infrastructure of Ukraine.”
Amid the continued bombing operation carried out by Russia, at least 1.2 million have already fled to European countries with a huge shortage of essential supplies as the Russian military operation continues.
Russia has also continued to bomb Kyiv with Russian armoured divisions waiting outside the city.
NATO on Friday had rejected President Zelenky’s demand for a no-fly zone over Ukraine as secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said the European alliance did not want the conflict “escalating beyond Ukraine because that would be even more dangerous, more devastating and would cause even more human suffering”.