War in Ukraine: Russia announces ceasefire in several cities, humanitarian corridors opened
Sylvie Claire / March 7, 2022
The Russian army announced on Monday the opening of several humanitarian corridors and the establishment of local ceasefires to evacuate civilians from the Ukrainian cities of Kharkhiv, Kiev, Mariupol and Soumy, which are in the grip of violent fighting.
Russian forces, for humanitarian purposes, declare a 'regime of silence' from 10:00 a.m. on March 7 and the opening of humanitarian corridors, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Russian military says the decision was made after a personal request from French President Emmanuel Macron to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The two leaders spoke for two hours on Sunday by phone.
The announcement comes as a third round of talks between Kiev and Moscow is due to take place on Monday, according to Kiev. In recent days, two attempts to evacuate civilians from the besieged port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine have failed, with Kiev and Moscow accusing each other of violating the conditions of the evacuation.
The Russian army said on Monday that it would open a corridor between the capital Kiev and the Belarusian city of Gomel, not far from the Ukrainian border. According to this source, two other corridors will start from Mariupol and will allow either an evacuation towards Russia to the city of Rostov-on-Don, or towards the West to the Ukrainian city of Zaporozhie.
Moscow said another corridor will run from Kharkiv to the Russian city of Belgorod. Finally, two routes should allow civilians to leave the Ukrainian town of Soumy: either to Belgorod in Russia or to Poltava in Ukraine. Moscow indicates that it has transmitted this information to the UN, OSCE and ICRC structures.