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Ukraine Says Russia Violating Mariupol Evacuation Corridor

KYIV – Ukraine on Tuesday accused Russia of violating a humanitarian corridor aimed at enabling civilians to leave the beleaguered southern port city of Mariupol.

“The enemy has launched an attack heading exactly at the humanitarian corridor,” the defence ministry said on Facebook, adding the Russian army “did not let children, women and elderly people leave the city.

“Such actions are nothing other than a genocide,” it added.  Late Monday, Russia named Mariupol as one of four cities where evacuation corridors would be opened. “Ceasefire violated!” tweeted Ukraine’s foreign ministry.

“Russian forces are now shelling the humanitarian corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol. 8 trucks + 30 buses ready to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol and to (evacuate) civilians to Zaporizhzhia,” it added.

Kiev said it had carried out de-mining activities along the 250-kilometre (150-mile) route to Zaporizhzhia in the northwest to allow the evacuation of the roughly 450,000 people living in Mariupol.

The city has been under siege by the Russian army for several days.

It is a key strategic location due to its proximity to the Russia-controlled Crimean peninsula and the Donbas region where Russian separatists are based.

Attempted evacuations involving some 300,000 civilians from Mariupol have failed on several occasions in recent days, with both Kyiv and Moscow blaming the other side for the failures. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there had been “guarantees” on evacuating Mariupol civilians but that these “did not work”.

Ukraine claims over 12,000 Russian soldiers killed in war

Ukraine claimed on Tuesday that over 12,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since Russia attacked its neighbor on Feb. 24.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, 48 Russian aircraft, 80 helicopters, 303 tanks, 1,036 armored vehicles, 120 cannons, 56 rocket launcher systems and 27 air defense systems were also destroyed.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has drawn international condemnation, led to financial sanctions on Moscow, and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia. The West has also imposed biting export restrictions on key technologies that are now prohibited from being sent to Russia.

At least 406 civilians have been killed and 801 others injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to UN figures. But the international body has maintained that conditions on the ground have made it “difficult to verify” the true number of civilian casualties.As many as 2 million people have fled to neighboring countries, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Russian and Ukrainian delegations held a third round of negotiations in the Belarusian city of Brest on Monday, concluding with “small positive” developments regarding humanitarian corridors, according to a Ukrainian official.

| The enemy has launched an attack heading exactly at the humanitarian corridor, says defence ministry