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Russia Declares Ceasefire in Ukraine From 07:00 GMT to Open Humanitarian Corridors for Civilians

Creating humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians was agreed upon by Russian and Ukrainian officials during their second round of talks in Belarus aimed at resolving the Ukraine crisis.

Russia has declared a ceasefire in Ukraine as of 07:00 GMT in order to open humanitarian corridors for civilians. The move was announced amid the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine meant to demilitarise and “de-Nazify” the country.

“Today, on 5 March at 10 a.m. Moscow time, the Russian side declares a ceasefire and opens humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha”, the Russian Defence Ministry told reporters on Saturday.

The ministry added that the humanitarian corridors and exit routes have been agreed upon with the Ukrainian side.

This comes after the ministry reported the catastrophic humanitarian situation in most of Ukraine, with the cities of Kiev, Kharkov, Sumy, Chernigov, and Mariupol being the hardest hit by the humanitarian crisis.

Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhail Podolyak, for his part, said that about 200,000 people are trying to evacuate from Mariupol, while “20,000 people also want to leave [the city of] Volnovakha [in the Donetsk region]”.

At present, Volnovakha and Mariupol, one of Ukraine’s largest ports, are being blockaded by forces from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).

Mariupol’s authorities have since said that they want to use the ceasefire in order to restore critical infrastructure in the city, as well as provide it with essential food items and medicines.

The ceasefire declaration follows the Russian and Ukrainian sides earlier this week holding a second round of talks on ending the Ukraine crisis in the Brest region of Belarus, where the two specifically agreed on creating humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians.

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