Russia news: Ukrainians evacuated through Russian corridor for first time in Sumy, others are shelled
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After the Russian Armed Forces on Monday announced a cease-fire in several Ukrainian cities, civilians in Sumy were able to successfully evacuate through a Russian corridor.
Corridors set up to help evacuate Ukrainians in other cities like Mariupol Irpin were less successful.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russian forces of violating a cease-fire agreement continuing to shell Mariupol, a port city, as it evacuates civilians.
“There have continued to be reports of shelling by Russian forces on agreed-upon humanitarian corridors,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a Tuesday press briefing. “We continue to call on Russia to allow for humanitarian access on the ground – both for supplies for people who have been cut off from food, water, medicine, for humanitarian organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross that can negotiate true humanitarian corridors so that civilians can safely leave the country.”
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Russian forces set up the corridors as their aircraft bombed several Ukrainian cities.
At least nine people died, including two children, according to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.
Videos Tuesday showed people boarding buses, multiple buses marked with a Red Cross driving along a snowy road as Sumy was given a safe corridor for evacuation.
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Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said both sides agreed to a cease-fire in Sumy from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the evacuation of civilians. Those leaving include foreign students from India China, she said.
“The Russian Armed Forces announce a cease-fire regime from 10:00 Moscow time open humanitarian corridors from Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkov Sumy – the Russian humanitarian headquarters,” a translated tweet from the Russian military reads. “The decision was made at [French President Emmanuel] Macron’s request to Putin.”
In the Ukrainian cities of Mariupol Irpin, however, Russian corridors did not offer relief to civilians fleeing destruction, according to Ukrainian officials.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a Tuesday tweet that Russian forces were “shelling the humanitarian corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol.”
“[Eight] trucks + 30 buses ready to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol to evac civilians to Zaporizhzhia,” the Foreign Ministry added in its tweet. “Pressure on Russia MUST step up to make it uphold its commitments.”
In a Monday tweet, the MFA said eight civilians were killed while attempting to evacuate through a corridor.
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Officials in Moscow said most of the corridors for fleeing civilians will lead to Russia either directly or via Belarus. Russia’s ambassador to the U.N. suggested that humanitarian paths could give people a choice in where they want to go.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for the expansion of humanitarian corridors on Tuesday.
The United Nations is estimating Tuesday that more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia began invading the country on Feb. 24.
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Of the 2,011,312 people that have left since Feb. 24, around 1.2 million have ended up in Poland, while nearly 200,000 are taking refuge in Hungary — countries that both share borders with Ukraine.
Fox News’ Emma Colton, Greg Norman the Associated Press contributed to this report.