Russia has said it will hold back fire and open humanitarian corridors in several Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv and Mariupol, although its armed forces continue to attack some areas.
The corridors, which will also be open from the cities of Kharkiv and Sumy, are set up at the personal request of French President Emmanuel Macron, Interfax news agency quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.
According to maps published by Russian news agency RIA and seen by Reuters, the Kiev corridor will lead to Belarus, and civilians in Kharkiv will only have one corridor leading to Russia.
Mariupol and Sumy corridors will lead both to other Ukrainian cities and to Russia, unlikely destinations for many Ukrainians who would prefer to head to the western and southern border countries.
Invasion in Ukraine: Live Updates
Those who want to leave Kyiv will also be able to be flown to Russia, the Defense Ministry said, adding that it would use drones to monitor the evacuation and “attempts by the Ukrainian side to deceive Russia and the entire civilized world… are useless this time”.
Spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russian stance on the corridors was “completely immoral” and that Ukrainians should have the right to evacuate Ukrainian territory.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk called the proposed evacuation routes “unacceptable”.
Belarus is a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and served as a launching pad for his invasion.
The Ukrainian government is proposing eight humanitarian corridors, including from Mariupol, which would allow civilians to reach western regions of Ukraine where there is no Russian bombardment.
A total of about 1.067 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland since the invasion began on February 24, including 142,300 on Sunday, Polish border guards said.
• Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russian military action will stop ‘in a moment’ if Ukraine meets its conditions
• Boris Johnson meets foreign leaders to build a united front against Vladimir Putin
• The adviser to the Ukrainian president said the next round of talks with Russia would start at 4 p.m. local time (1400 GMT)
• Foreign Secretary defends UK support for refugees as only ‘around 50’ visas have been granted so far
• Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asks for military planes to help fight the Russians
Over the weekend, Ukraine said Russian shelling of eastern towns including Mariupol had prevented residents from evacuating the area along corridors agreed in the latest round of ceasefire talks. -fire.
The city council called off a second evacuation attempt on Sunday, saying Russian forces had again broken the agreement to suspend hostilities until the evening.
Ukrainian authorities said they planned to evacuate more than 200,000 civilians, half the city’s population.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the evacuations failed in part because the the two parties had not agreed on a clear plan.
What will it take for Russia to stop the violence?
Russia demands that Ukraine cease all military action, amend its constitution to enshrine neutrality, recognize Crimea as Russian territory and recognize the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent territories, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said .
Mr Peskov told Reuters that Russia had told Ukraine it was ready to end its military action “in a moment” if Kiev met its
This is the most explicit Russian statement to date on the conditions it wants to impose on Ukraine to end what it calls its
“special military operation”.
Ukrainian president calls for more sanctions
In a video message on Monday, President Zelenskyy said he had spoken with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Polish president, the Italian prime minister and the French president.
“Our negotiations and discussions with our partners are fair. If the situation worsens, new sanctions must be introduced to bring peace.”
He said an embargo on oil from Russia should be implemented and he also said that Russia should not receive goods and services from abroad “if (Russia) does not want to comply with civilized rules”.
“If someone loses his mind, then we have to lose fear and forget about business, we have to fight against the inhuman evil that wants to destroy humanity itself,” Zelenskyy said.
An adviser to the Ukrainian president said a third round of talks was due to start at 4:00 p.m. local time (2:00 p.m. GMT).
Boris Johnson pledges to help refugees
Mr Johnson said Mr Putin was “doubling” the level of violence used in Ukraine and that this was adding to the flow of refugees fleeing the country.
The Prime Minister told reporters: “Obviously what is happening now is that Putin is stepping up his aggressiveness and deciding to attack quite blindly.
“It’s producing huge waves of people, we’re going to have to respond to that and we will.”
Mr Johnson could not say how many fleeing Ukrainians were granted visas to the UK.
The Interior Ministry revealed on Sunday that only “about 50” visas had been issued under Ukraine’s family program as of 10 a.m. that morning.
Asked what the figure was on Monday, the Prime Minister told reporters: “I can’t give you the figure, we are dealing with thousands at the moment.
“We will continue to make sure we have a very, very generous approach.”
Cities still under fire from Russia
The Ukrainian General Staff said Russian forces continued their offensive, opening fire on the town of Mykolaiv, 480 km south of the capital Kiev.
Rescuers said they were putting out fires in residential areas caused by rocket attacks.
But on Monday, the region’s governor said Ukrainian forces had recaptured the airport from Russian soldiers.
“The roads are open, we control the bridges, you can safely leave Mykolaiv (city) and other cities,” Vitaliy Kim said in a televised statement.
Shelling also continued in the suburbs of Kyiv, including Irpin, which was cut off from electricity, water and heating for three days.
“Russia continues to fire rockets, bombs and artillery at cities and settlements in Ukraine,” the General Staff said.
“The invaders continue to use Belarus’ airfield network to conduct airstrikes on Ukraine.”
The United Nations Human Rights Office said 364 Ukrainian civilians were killed in the 12 days following the invasion and 759 were injured.
Meanwhile, Russia snubbed a hearing in the UN’s top court on a legal attempt by Kiev to stop the invasion of Moscow on Monday morning.
A row of seats reserved for Russian lawyers at the International Court of Justice was empty when the hearing opened.