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Russian Shelling Prevents Evacuations Once Again, Says Ukraine

KYIV   –   Russian shelling is still preventing the evacuation of civilians from besieged cities, Ukraine says, a BBC report said Monday.

Attacks are said to continue despite a proposal from Russia to create safe escape routes. Russia said earlier that humanitarian corridors would allow people to leave Kyiv, Mariupol, Sumy and Kharkiv on Monday.

But Ukraine branded the proposal “immoral” after it emerged many of the routes would only take civilians to Russia or its ally Belarus.

Two ceasefire attempts in Mariupol, where people are running out of food, collapsed at the weekend.

About 2,000 people have been able to flee Irpin, north-west of the capital Kyiv, despite continued Russian shelling.

Angry Zelensky vows to punish Russian atrocities

President Volodymyr Zelensky has said everyone who commits atrocities against Ukraine’s civilians will be punished.

He said Ukrainians would not forgive or forget, and accused invading Russian troops of deliberate murder.

“There will be no quiet place on Earth for you. Except for the grave,” the president said on Monday.

Ukrainian officials say Russia is striking civilian targets around the country, including hospitals, nurseries, and schools.

But Russia denies targeting civilians, saying it is carrying out a “special military operation” against Ukrainian “nationalists” and “neo-Nazis”.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna told the BBC that, after “strong resistance” from the Ukrainian army, there was an “enormous operation” by Russia against civilians.