Three evacuation corridors declared in Ukraine

Ukraine and Russia approved on three evacuation corridors for Wednesday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk declared.

According to Vereshchuk, one corridor for the evacuation of Mariupol residents and delivery of humanitarian aid to Berdyansk, one route for humanitarian aid delivery to and evacuation from Melitopol, and one for a column of people in personal vehicles from Enerhodar to Zaporizhzhia.

“The convoys of buses and trucks with humanitarian aid have already left Zaporizhzhia,” she announced in a video message on Wednesday.

“We demand that the occupying forces abide by their commitments and allow humanitarian columns through checkpoints,” Vereshchuk added.

Vereshchuk stated that  the Russian delegation to talks on Tuesday between Russian and Ukrainian teams in Istanbul received proposals from the Ukrainian side to organize evacuation corridors for some of the regions most heavily affected by fighting, including Kharkiv, Kyiv, Kherson, Chernihiv, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk and Mykolaiv oblasts.

Vereshchuk’s statement comes two days after the mayor of the besieged city of Mariupol said evacuation corridors had come largely under the control of Russian forces, after weeks of bombardment left the city in pieces, killed an unknown number of civilians, and forced hundreds of thousands of residents from their homes.

“Not everything is in our power,” said Mayor Vadym Boichenko, in a live television interview. “Unfortunately, we are in the hands of the occupiers today.”

Boichenko appealed for a thorough evacuation of the remaining population of Mariupol, which was home to more than 400,000 people before Russia launched its assault on Ukraine on February 24.

Ukrainian officials have contended that Russian forces have impeded evacuation convoys from safely reaching or exiting the southern port city.

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