The International Committee of the Red Cross announced the failure of a new attempt today to evacuate civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine.
The Ukrainians and the Russians accused each other of being responsible for not adhering to a ceasefire to allow the city’s residents to leave, after a similar agreement collapsed on Saturday.
The Mariupol city council, which announced this morning a ceasefire and a new attempt to evacuate civilians, confirmed that this operation had been aborted.
The council said that the Russian bombing made the safe evacuation of civilians impossible.
The city is living its fifth day without water, electricity and sanitation facilities, and its stock of food and potable water is rapidly running out.
On the other hand, Russian forces opened fire on a protest demonstration against their occupation of the southern Ukrainian city of “Nova Kakhovka”, which resulted in the injury of five people, according to the Ukrainian news agency (Interfax Ukraine), which quoted eyewitnesses.
The agency reported that about 2,000 people took to the streets of the city of “Nova Kakhovka” to express their opposition to the Russian invasion, by waving Ukrainian flags and asking the Russian forces to leave. The agency also said that similar demonstrations took place in other occupied areas.
Evacuation of Mariupol: I was ready to leave…Then the bombing started
By: Joel Gunter
BBC News, Lviv
A second attempt to evacuate civilians from the city of Mariupol failed, with the two sides once again blaming each other for breaking the ceasefire.
After yesterday’s failed eviction, Maxim, 27, an IT developer who looks after his grandparents in their apartment on the sixth floor of a building, told the BBC that yesterday’s day started with hope and ended in despair.
“As quickly as possible, I packed four suitcases for me and my grandfather, put warm clothes, food and whatever water we had left, and put them in my car,” Maxim said.
“When I got ready to drive the car, the bombing started again. I heard explosions near us. I carried everything and climbed the stairs back to the apartment. From there, I could see smoke rising from the city and from the main street to Zaporozhye, which was supposed to for people to flee.”
He continued, “A lot of people came to the city center because they heard that there was a ceasefire and that there were buses to take them out of the city to escape the bombing there. Then they couldn’t go back to their shelters when the bombing started again.”
We were reporting that civilians fled from the city of Irbin, northwest of the capital, Kyiv, to escape the horrific Russian bombardment.
It is now reported that at least three people were killed as a result of Russian mortar shells targeting a destroyed bridge that residents were using to escape.
The New York Times reported that three members of the same family were killed. The newspaper said that small groups of civilians were trying to escape through an open section of the street, with the help of Ukrainian soldiers, to reach a place to take shelter.
New phone call between Putin and Macron
The French presidency said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone again on Sunday, in a call that lasted an hour and 45 minutes.
We have not yet obtained details of what was talked about between the two presidents. The two leaders spoke by phone last Thursday, in a call that left Macron with the impression that Putin’s goal was to control all of Ukraine, according to a French official.
Macron is one of a number of world leaders who have spoken to Putin in recent days in hopes of brokering a ceasefire in Ukraine.
Earlier on Sunday, Putin spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called for an urgent end to hostilities.
According to what the Kremlin announced about the details of the call, Putin told Erdogan that Ukrainian negotiators should take a “constructive approach” in the talks, “taking into account the emerging realities on the ground.”
“It was emphasized that stopping the special operation is possible only if Kyiv stops its military operations and implements known Russian demands,” the Kremlin said. Russia is reported to describe the invasion as a “special operation”.
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