Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Ukraine is preparing for a new Russian offensive in the country’s eastern region and Ukrainians have vowed to fight for “every meter” of the territory. Meanwhile, Russia today announced a ceasefire in Mariupol, Ukraine. After which the corridors have been opened for humanitarian access. Russia on Thursday announced a local ceasefire in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol to evacuate civilians. After which the humanitarian corridor from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhya via the port of Burdiansk, occupied by Russia, has been opened from 10 am on Thursday.
According to the report, more than 5000 thousand people have died in this port city. “For this humanitarian campaign to be successful, we propose to carry it out with the direct participation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross,” the ministry said. The ministry said that Moscow left Kyiv before 6 a.m. local time on the Russian side, the UNHCR and the ICRC have been urged through written notification to guarantee “unconditional respect” for the ceasefire, adding that the Ukrainian side should also ensure the security of the bus conveying along the designated corridor.
The Russian ministry said Russia has also agreed to a proposal to open four new humanitarian corridors from Ukraine to Mariupol to Zaporizhzhya. Mariupol, home to some 400,000 people, has been under heavy bombing for weeks. Citizens trapped there have taken refuge in basements with little food, electricity, and running water. But previous attempts to arrange a safe passage from this port city have failed. Ukraine and Russia have blamed the occasional failure of humanitarian corridors in recent weeks. Separately on Wednesday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on Telegram that the country had established three humanitarian corridors to help evacuate civilians from besieged towns and cities.
According to Vereshchuk, two corridors were established in the southern Zaporizhzhya region, so that Ukrainian citizens could flee from Melitopol and Energodar. The third corridor was established to evacuate people from Mariupol in the Eastern Donetsk region. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine on 24 February. The Ukraine-Russian conflict provoked a unanimous response in the Western world, too, following a long list of sanctions imposed on Moscow. Russia says it will immediately halt military operations if Kyiv meets Moscow’s list of demands, including never applying to join NATO.