Kyiv halts evacuations for second day over Russian shelling

"In violation of international humanitarian law, the Russian occupiers have not stopped blocking and shelling humanitarian routes," she added.
Kyiv halts evacuations for second day over Russian shelling
FILE

Agency Report

Ukraine said Monday it was halting for a second consecutive day the evacuation of civilians from frontline town and cities in the east of the country, accusing Russian forces of blocking and shelling escape routes.

"Unfortunately, today, April 18, there will be no humanitarian corridors," Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a statement on social media.

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

Kyiv has several times previously paused the operation of humanitarian corridors that make it possible for civilians to flee Russian forces, but Monday's announcement is the longest such pause.

Vereshchuk said there had been "long and difficult negotiations" with Russia over several routes, particularly from the besieged and destroyed coastal port city of Mariupol.

Ukrainian authorities have been urging people in the southeastern Donbas region of the country to quickly move west to escape a large-scale Russian offensive to capture the region.

They have also accused Russia of targeting evacuation infrastructure, including busses and a train station in Kramatorsk where more than 50 people were reported killed in Russian strikes.

AFP

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