Ukraine has accused Russian forces of shelling evacuation routes for civilians seeking to flee the Russian invasion. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry says Russia violated a ceasefire agreement to grant safe passage to civilians in the southern coastal city of Mariupol for a fourth day in a row. Speaking from his office in the capital Kyiv Monday night, President Volodymyr Zelensky slammed Russia for reneging on an agreement for a humanitarian corridor — and for the Kremlin’s offer to evacuate civilians only to Russia and Belarus.
President Volodymyr Zelensky: “They even mined the road that it was agreed would be used to bring in food, medicines for children, for the people of Mariupol. They even destroyed buses that are meant to evacuate people. At the same time, they opened a tiny corridor leading to the occupied territory for a couple dozen people.”
Residents of Mariupol describe a dire humanitarian situation with constant artillery fire and no heat or electricity despite freezing temperatures. Some residents have reportedly been forced to drink from puddles amid shortages of food and water.
Elsewhere in Ukraine, at least 21 people, including two children, were killed in an overnight strike in the northeastern city of Sumy. Another Russian attack killed 13 civilians at an industrial bakery in the town of Makariv west of Kyiv. Four civilians were killed by Russian mortar fire Sunday as they tried to cross a partially destroyed bridge over the Irpin River. Despite the killings, hundreds of civilians continued to make the journey on Monday.
Galya Fedorchuk: “We are from Irpin. There was heavy shelling in Irpin. They fired at houses, people. A woman and a 13-year-old child died. All houses were shelled. A few people left here. It is hard and scary. It is a war. It is fascism. It is genocide against the whole Ukraine. Glory to Ukraine.”