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Ceasefire underway in Ukraine towns to permit evacuations

Kyiv [Ukraine], March 5 (ANI): A seven-hour ceasefire has begun in the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha in Ukraine to set up humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians and delivery of food and medicines.

“Temporary ceasefire begins in Mariupol and Volnovakha to set up humanitarian corridors. The corridors will serve to evacuate civilians and deliver food and medicine to the cities that have been cut off from the world by Russian attackers,” tweeted The Kyiv Independent, a Ukraine media outlet on Saturday.

The media outlet informed that the ceasefire will aid the evacuation of 440,000 people of Mariupol and 21,000 people of Volnovakha.

“The ceasefire is declared for 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. today. The evacuation of civilians is set to start at 11 a.m. Mariupol, with 440,000 people, and Volnovakha, with 21,000 people, have been largely cut off water, heat, and electricity,” it tweeted.

Earlier, Mykhailo Podoliyak, the advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that humanitarian evacuation corridors are being prepared for opening in Mariupol and Volnovakha.

“In Mariupol and Volnovakha, humanitarian evacuation corridors are being prepared for opening, columns are being formed from those who are subject to evacuation. The parties temporarily ceased fire in the area of the corridors…,” he tweeted.

This comes as the Russian defence ministry declared a ceasefire for the evacuation of civilians in Mariupol and Volnovakha, adding that the corridors and the evacuation routes had been agreed upon with Ukraine.

Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities.

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Amid the Ukraine-Russia crisis raging for over a week now, Ukraine plans to hold a third round of talks with Russian officials to try to end the fighting triggered by Moscow’s invasion this weekend, said one of Kyiv’s negotiators. (ANI)