Russia said on Monday it would provide corridors for residents of Ukraine’s two main cities to flee to Russia and Belarus – a move Ukraine called an “immoral” coup to exploit the plight of civilians under bombardment. Russian.
The Russian and Ukrainian delegations are meeting for a third round of talks in Belarus, both sides said. Two previous rounds have yielded little beyond promises to open up humanitarian access routes, which have yet to be successfully implemented.
“In a few minutes, we will start talking to representatives of a country that seriously believes that large-scale violence against civilians is an argument,” Ukrainian negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said on Twitter. “Prove that this is not the case.”
Russia’s announcement of “humanitarian corridors” came after two days of a failed ceasefire to allow civilians to escape the besieged city of Mariupol, where hundreds of thousands are stranded without food and water under relentless bombardment.
A corridor from Kiev would lead to Russia’s ally Belarus, while civilians from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, would be directed to Russia, according to maps published by the RIA news agency.
“Attempts by the Ukrainian side to deceive Russia and the entire civilized world are futile this time,” the Russian government said.
A spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the move “completely immoral”, saying Russia was trying to “use people’s suffering to create a television image”.
“They are citizens of Ukraine, they should have the right to be withdrawn to the territory of Ukraine,” the spokesman told Reuters.
More than 1.7 million Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion so far have crossed into Central Europe, the United Nations refugee agency said on Monday, as thousands more flowed in that direction.
Comprehensive sanctions have subjected Russia to an isolation from global trade never seen before in such a large economy.
Global stock prices tumbled on Monday after Washington said it was considering extending sanctions on Russia’s energy exports, so far exempt from trade bans.
Ukraine’s military said Russian forces are “starting to accumulate resources for the attack on Kiev”.
Source: CNN Brasil