Kyiv halts evacuations for second day over Russian shelling

    KYIV (AFP, REUTERS) – Ukraine stated on Monday (April 18) it was halting for a second consecutive day the evacuation of civilians from front-line cities and cities within the east of the nation, accusing Russian forces of blocking and shelling escape routes.

    “Unfortunately, today, April 18, there will be no humanitarian corridors,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk stated in an announcement on social media.

    “In violation of international humanitarian law, the Russian occupiers have not stopped blocking and shelling humanitarian routes,” she added.

    Kyiv has a number of instances beforehand paused the operation of humanitarian corridors that make it potential for civilians to flee Russian forces, however Monday’s announcement is the longest such pause.

    Ms Vereshchuk stated there had been “long and difficult negotiations” with Russia over a number of routes, significantly from the besieged and destroyed coastal port metropolis of Mariupol.

    She stated Ukraine had known as for Russia to facilitate a humanitarian hall for evacuees from the town, together with one from a metal plant that’s the metropolis’s final important space of Ukrainian resistance.

    “We demand an urgent humanitarian corridor from the territory of the Azovstal plant for women, children and other civilians,” Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk stated in a publish on the Telegram messaging service.

    Ukrainian authorities have been urging folks within the south-eastern Donbas area of the nation to rapidly transfer west to flee a large-scale Russian offensive to seize the area.

    They have additionally accused Russia of focusing on evacuation infrastructure, together with buses and a practice station in Kramatorsk the place greater than 50 folks have been reported killed in Russian strikes.

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