Ukraine says an evacuation route has been agreed upon for the beleaguered port city of Mariupol

A local resident walks past a building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 19, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)

Ukraine announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Russian soldiers to establish a safe corridor for citizens fleeing the beleaguered port city of Mariupol.

"Given the dire humanitarian situation in Mariupol," Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk stated on Telegram.

"We have reached an initial agreement on a humanitarian corridor for women, children, and the elderly," she explained.

Vereshchuk instructed citizens to gather at 2:00 p.m. (1100 GMT) for evacuations to Ukrainian-controlled Zaporizhzhia.

However, she cautioned that "due to the extremely difficult security situation," modifications could arise during the route.

Evacuations from Ukraine's frontline areas had been stopped for three days due to Kyiv's inability to strike a deal while Russia stepped up its attacks.

Coastal Mariupol is a primary target of Russia's devastation of Ukraine, with massive bombardment wreaking havoc on large swaths of the city.

Mariupol's mayor has called on the city's surviving citizens to flee.

"Do not be scared; evacuate to Zaporizhzhia, where you will receive all required assistance, including food, medicine, and basic necessities. However, the most important thing is that you will be secure," Mayor Vadim Boychenko said in a Telegram announcement.

"More than 200,000 Mariupol people have already been able to flee the city. These people are now safe. Dear Mariupol citizens, Ukraine is waiting for you."

The Kremlin's soldiers are already waging a ferocious campaign to drive the surviving Ukrainian troops from their last stronghold in the massive Azovstal iron and steel factory.

Moscow has given a series of ultimatums to Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol, urging them to surrender and lay down their arms.

Ukraine reports that over 300,000 people have escaped the conflict across the nation via humanitarian corridors established since the Russian invasion began on February 24.

Publish : 2022-04-20 17:15:00

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