Russian forces block the evacuation of civilians in Ukraine for the second time

Lviv (Ukraine) -- Sunday's second attempt to evacuate civilians trapped in a southern Ukrainian city collapsed due to Russian attacks.

Russian forces block the evacuation of civilians in Ukraine for the second time

A Ukrainian government official stated that the Russians stopped plans to build a humanitarian corridor. Pope Francis also called for an end of the "rivers blood and tears" caused by war.

In Mariupol, the city's port, food, water and medicine were all in desperate short supply. The cease-fire between the Russian and Ukrainian forces was for 11 hours to allow civilians to evacuate the injured and to allow them to leave the area. According to Ukrainian officials, Russian forces closed down the corridor quickly.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Interior Ministry, stated on Telegram that there can't be 'green corridors' as only the sick brains of the Russians determine when and where to shoot.



 

This news shattered hopes of more people fleeing the fighting in Ukraine. Russia's plans to overthrow the country quickly have been stopped by fierce resistance. Russia has made important advances along the coast of Ukraine, but many of its efforts have been stalled. This includes an enormous military convoy that has been largely inactive for several days north of Kyiv.

1.5 million people have fled the country since the outbreak of war in Iraq, which is now in its 11th year. According to the U.N. refugee agency, the exodus is "the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II."

According to a Kremlin statement, Putin told Recep Tayyip Erdan on Sunday that Russia would not accept responsibility for Ukraine's fighting.

He stated that Ukraine must fulfill the "well-known Russian demands", which include "demilitarization and "denazification" in Ukraine.

Putin was urged to negotiate by the presidents of France and Turkey, along with Pope Francis.

The pope made a very unusual statement, stating that he had sent two cardinals to Ukraine and that the Vatican would do all it could to end the conflict.

In his Sunday blessing, the pontiff stated that "In Ukraine rivers of blood and tear are flowing." This is more than a military operation. It's a war that causes death, destruction, and misery.

Officials from Ukraine said that Russian forces redoubled their bombardment of Mariupol after Saturday's cease-fire failed. They also dropped large bombs on Chernihiv's residential areas.

British military officers compared Russia's tactics with those used by Moscow in Chechnya or Syria, where the surrounded cities were pulverized using airstrikes as well as artillery.

The U.K. Ministry of Defense stated that "This is likely be an attempt to break Ukrainian morale."

Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, reiterated his request that foreign protectors impose a no fly zone over Ukraine. Putin warned Saturday that Moscow would consider any third-party declaration to close Ukrainian Airspace hostile. The West has so far rejected Zelensky’s pleas for protection, fearing a confrontation.

Zelensky stated in a video address that Sunday, "The world can close our skies."

Zelensky's adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said that Ukrainian officials and international humanitarian organisations were working with Russia through intermediaries in order to establish humanitarian corridors between Bucha and Hostomel. These are areas of Kyiv where there has been heavy fighting.

Zelensky, a Russian general who had invaded several Ukrainian cities, appeared on Saturday night to rally his people.

"Ukrainians, in all our cities that have been invaded by the enemy -- get on the offensive!" Zelensky was wearing his usual military green T-shirt. You should get out on the streets! Fighting is what you should do! ... You must fight!

Russian forces continue to be surprised by the strength of the Ukrainian resistance. They have responded by attacking populated areas, including Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and Mariupol. This was according to the U.K. Ministry of Defense in its daily intelligence briefing.

It is hard to estimate the death toll. Although the U.N. human rights officer stated that at least 351 civilians were confirmed to have been killed, it is likely that this number is much higher.

Russia is far outmatched in military strength by Ukraine, but the country's professional and volunteer forces are fighting back with great determination. Saturday saw hundreds of volunteers line up in Kyiv to join the military.

Even in fallen cities, there was evidence of the resistance Zelensky demanded.

According to the Ukrainian government's video, Chernihiv residents cheered as a Russian military aircraft fell from the sky. Hundreds of protestors waved yellow and blue Ukrainian flags in Kherson and shouted "Go home!"

However, Saturday's struggle to enforce temporary ceasefires at Volnovakha and Mariupol showed that efforts to end the fighting in Ukraine are fragile.

According to Davyd Arakhamia (a member of the Ukrainian delegation), Monday will be the third round of talks between Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The Ukrainian delegation member Davyd Arakhamia did not provide any additional information, such as where the talks would take place. Previous meetings were held at Belarus. These talks led to a cease-fire agreement, which was renegotiated Sunday after it failed on Saturday.

Russia has made important advances in the south of Ukraine to try to prevent access to the Sea of Avrov. Moscow could establish a land corridor from Crimea to Moscow by capturing Mariupol, which Russia annexed in 2014 from Ukraine. This move was considered illegal by most countries.

The head of Chernihiv said that Russia had dropped bombs on residential areas in the same city. It has a population approximately 290,000. Vyacheslav Chaus uploaded a picture online of what he claimed was an undetonated FAB-500 bomb, a 1,100-pound weapon.

Chaus stated that this weapon is usually used against fortified structures and military-industrial facilities.

Zelensky attempted to gather support from U.S. legislators Saturday, speaking to over 300 members of Congress via video link. While he maintained that Russia was being defeated, he pleaded for more help, including fighter planes to secure Ukraine's skies.

Zelensky stated that Russian troops were moving towards a third nuclear plant. They already have control of Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine and Chernobyl which was the worst nuclear accident in history.

Biden called Zelensky on Sunday morning, Kyiv, to discuss Russia sanctions, and to speed up U.S. aid to Ukraine. Although the White House stated that talks between Russia, Ukraine and other topics were also discussed, it did not provide details.

On Sunday, Blinken was in Moldova where he pledged support to the former Soviet republic of western orientation that is struggling with an influx refugees and watching closely Russia's actions in Ukraine.


 

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