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Russia Sets Cease-Fire Order for Civilians Evacuating Warzone

Despite Russia’s announcement of a cease-fire beginning Monday morning and the creation of humanitarian corridors in various regions, its military forces continued to shell Ukrainian cities, with missiles landing in civilian areas.

The limited cease-fire decision came a day after Russian bombing of towns in Ukraine’s center, north, and south prompted hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian residents to seek refuge. Both parties have scheduled a third session of negotiations for Monday.

Russia’s onslaught resumed Monday morning, with Russian soldiers firing on the city of Mykolaiv, 480 kilometers south of Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s General Staff. Rescuers reported they were putting out flames sparked by rocket assaults in residential areas.

Shelling continued in Kyiv suburbs, including Irpin, which had been without electricity, water, or heat for three days.

“Russia continues to launch rocket, bomb, and artillery attacks on Ukrainian towns and communities,” according to the General Staff. “Invaders continue to utilize Belarus’ airfield network to launch air strikes against Ukraine.”

According to the General Staff, the Russians have also targeted humanitarian routes, kidnapping women and children and planting weaponry in city residential areas.

A cease-fire for residents fleeing Kyiv, the southern port city of Mariupol, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and Sumy will begin Monday morning, the 12th day of the war, according to a Russian task force. It was unclear when the cease-fire would terminate or if combat would stop outside the locations indicated in the task force’s statement.

The news comes after two failed attempts to evacuate residents from Mariupol, where 200,000 people were attempting to leave, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Russia and Ukraine have taken turns blaming one other for the failure. The cease-fire and opening of the passageways were announced on Monday at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron, who talked with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday.

Civilians will be allowed to flee to Russia and Belarus, according to evacuation routes released by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, citing the Defense Ministry. According to the task force, Russian soldiers would use drones to monitor the cease-fire.

The previous evacuations were halted as Ukrainian officials reported that Russian bombardment had increased across the nation.

“They can only construct murderous corridors instead of humanitarian corridors,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated on Sunday. “A family was slaughtered in Irpin today.” There is a guy, a lady, and two children. Right next to the highway. “It’s like being at a shooting gallery.”

“Only if Kyiv quits hostilities,” Putin added, could Moscow’s strikes be halted. Putin blamed Ukraine for the conflict, telling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday that Kyiv needs to end the hostilities and comply with “Russia’s well-known demands.”

Putin began his invasion by making a series of bogus claims against Kyiv, including that it is governed by neo-Nazis who want to destabilize Russia by developing nuclear weapons.

A brief respite from combat in Mariupol was shattered when Russian attacks increased. According to local officials, heavy artillery shelled residential areas in several major cities.

“There can be no ‘green corridors,’ since the Russians’ twisted mentality determines when and where to shoot,” Ukraine Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko stated on Telegram.

On Orthodox Christianity’s Forgiveness Sunday, Zelenskyy declared that Ukraine will never forgive the bombardment of its houses, the slaughter of defenseless civilians, and the devastation of its infrastructure.

“And God will never forgive you, not now, not tomorrow, not ever. Instead of a day of forgiveness, a day of judgment will be held. “I am certain of this,” he stated in a video message.

The death toll is yet unknown. The United Nations believes it has confirmed just a few hundred civilian casualties, but warns that this figure is grossly underestimated.

In the Kyiv suburbs of Bucha, Hostomel, and Irpin, where efforts to evacuate inhabitants failed on Sunday, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich described the situation as “catastrophic.” According to Mayor Oleksander Markyshin, Russian bombardment killed about eight civilians in Irpin, including a family.

A shell slammed into a downtown street, not far from a bridge used by civilians escaping the conflict, according to video footage. A squad of warriors was spotted attempting to assist the family. The administration, according to Arestovich, is doing all possible to resume evacuations.

As the war reached its 12th day Monday, the UK Ministry of Defense remarked of Russian tactics, “This is likely to reflect an effort to destroy Ukrainian morale.” Fighting has forced 1.5 million people to escape the nation, creating “the fastest-growing refugee catastrophe in Europe since World War II,” according to the president of the UN refugee agency.

Russian methods were compared by British military authorities to those used by Moscow in Chechnya and Syria, when encircled cities were destroyed by aircraft and artillery.

In Mariupol, where Russian and Ukrainian forces had agreed to an 11-hour cease-fire to allow civilians and the injured to be evacuated, food, water, medicine, and practically all other supplies were in critically short supply. According to Ukrainian officials, Russian assaults soon shut down the humanitarian passage.

The city of 430,000 had been wrecked, according to the few citizens who managed to evacuate before the humanitarian route closed.

“We witnessed everything: buildings burning, people sitting in basements,” said Yelena Zamay, who escaped to one of the pro-Russian rebels’ self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine. “There is no communication, water, gas, light, or water.” “Nothing was there.”

In its attempt to limit access to the Sea of Azov, Russia has made great progress in southern Ukraine. Capturing Mariupol may allow Moscow to construct a land corridor to Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 in a move that was widely seen as illegitimate by most other countries.

However, most of Russia’s progress has stopped, including a massive military convoy that has stood nearly stationary north of Kyiv for days.

According to a senior US defense official, nearly 95 percent of the Russian soldiers who had been stationed surrounding Ukraine have already entered the nation. Russian forces are continuing to advance in an attempt to isolate Kyiv, Kharkhiv, and Chernihiv, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss military assessments.

Overnight shelling in the Kharkiv area killed at least eight people and destroyed residential structures, hospital and educational facilities, and administrative buildings, according to emergency officials.

Despite being vastly outmanned by the Russian army, Ukraine’s professional and volunteer warriors have battled valiantly. Volunteers waited in line to join the military in Kyiv on Saturday. Ukraine also plans to enlist 20,000 volunteers from dozens of countries to form a worldwide legion, though it is unclear how many would be based in Ukraine.

“Today, the whole world is on Ukraine’s side, not just in words, but in acts,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Ukrainian television late Sunday.

The West has mostly backed Ukraine, providing assistance and arms shipments while imposing severe sanctions on Russia. However, no NATO forces have been dispatched to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy has also chastised Western officials for not retaliating more forcefully against Russia. He renewed his plea for foreign protectors to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which NATO has previously rejected on to worries that such a move would lead to a much larger conflict.

In addition, Zelenskyy requested that the US and NATO nations deploy additional bombers to Ukraine. However, problems concerning how to give aircraft to Ukrainian pilots hinder this plan.

Later, he pushed the West to increase sanctions against Russia, claiming that “the aggressor’s arrogance is a clear signal” that present sanctions are insufficient.

In the days after the invasion began, Russia has grown further isolated, cutting itself off to outside sources of information while sanctions wreak havoc on its economy. The value of the ruble has plummeted, and hundreds of global corporations have stopped or drastically reduced their operations in the country.

American Express stated on Sunday that it will cease business in Russia and Russia’s ally Belarus. KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, two of the so-called Big Four accounting companies, announced on Sunday that their affiliations with their Russia-based member businesses will terminate.

Russian users will be unable to publish new videos or see videos posted from other countries, TikTok stated on Sunday. The corporation blamed Moscow’s new “fake news” law, which makes it unlawful to refer to the battle as an invasion, among other reasons. Netflix also halted operations in Russia, although no specifics were offered.

Congress is looking into ways to further isolate Russia from the global economy, including barring its oil and energy goods from entering the US, according to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper is a global reporter for TheOptic, focusing on bringing insights and developments for global and local breaking news daily. With almost seven years of experience covering topics from all over the world, Brian strives to make sure you stay up-to-date with what's going on in the world.
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