Russia-Ukraine live news: Fresh evacuation effort amid ceasefire

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Russia-Ukraine live news: Fresh evacuation effort amid ceasefire


Russia's invasion of Ukraine has triggered a rapidly mounting humanitarian crisis [Vadim Ghirda/AP]

Russia-Ukraine live news: Fresh evacuation effort amid ceasefire

Kyiv announces exit routes for civilians from several cities and towns, urges Russian forces to hold fire.

  • Ukraine says it will try to evacuate civilians through six “humanitarian corridors”, including from the besieged southeastern port city of Mariupol.
  • Russia pledges to observe a “regime of silence” in order to allow people to flee to safety.
  • Moscow threatens to respond to Western sanctions with retaliatory measures.
  • The United Nations says more than two million refugees have now fled Ukraine.

INTERACTIVE Russia-Ukraine map Who controls what in Ukraine DAY 14

Here are all the latest updates:

10 mins ago (09:36 GMT)

Poland ready to act on jets, but within NATO framework: Presidential adviser

Warsaw is ready to act on supplying MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, but only within the framework of the United States-led NATO military alliance, an adviser to the Polish president has said.

“The USA does not want these planes to come to Ukraine from American bases,” Jakub Kumoch told public broadcaster TVP Info. “Poland is ready to act, but only within the framework of the alliance, within the framework of NATO.”

Kumoch’s remarks came after Washington rejected a proposal to put Polish jets at Washington’s disposal.

38 mins ago (09:08 GMT)

‘Apocalyptic’: Ukraine crisis worsens as Russia ramps up attacks

A fast-deteriorating humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Ukraine, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in besieged cities without water, food and electricity as Russian troops continue to press deep into the country.

For a breakdown on what’s happening on the ground, click here.

50 mins ago (08:57 GMT)

Civilians leaving Sumy in private cars, mayor says

Sumy’s mayor says civilians have begun leaving the northeastern city in private cars after a “humanitarian corridor” was established for a second successive day.

Oleksandr Lysenko’s remarks, which were televised, came after about 5,000 people were evacuated from Sumy on Tuesday after Russia agreed to pause its offensive.

56 mins ago (08:50 GMT)

Ukraine makes new attempt to get civilians out of Mariupol, other cities

Ukraine will try to evacuate civilians through six “humanitarian corridors”, the country’s deputy prime minister has said.

Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video statement that Ukrainian armed forces had agreed to stop firing in those areas from 9am until 9pm local time (07:00-19:00 GMT) and urged Russian forces to fulfil their commitment to local ceasefires.

Vereshchuk added the corridors that would open would go from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia; Enerhodar to Zaporizhzhia; Sumy to Poltava; Izyum to Lozova; Volnovakha to Pokrovsk; and from several towns around Kyiv which she identified as Vorzel, Borodyanka, Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel to the capital.

“I appeal to the Russian Federation: You have undertaken official public commitments to cease fire … We have had negative experiences when the commitments that were undertaken did not work,” she said.

There have been several failed attempts to open safe exit routes for trapped civilians in the past few days, with Kyiv and Moscow blaming one another for the failures.

1 hour ago (08:24 GMT)

Kyiv’s residents ‘holding their breath for what’s coming next’: AJE correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen, reporting from Kyiv, says people in the capital are “very well aware … [it] is the main prize in this war”.

Step Vaessen reporting in Kyiv, Ukraine
Vaessen said there was an ‘eerie silence’ in Kyiv as the city braces for a possible large-scale Russian assault [Al Jazeera]

“There’s been a very eerie silence, people who are still in the city are holding their breath for what’s coming next,” Vaessen said.

“But this silence has been interrupted in the last hour by artillery fire coming from the northeast of the city. We know there’s also heavy fighting in the northwest – if a bridge in the town of Irpin falls in to the hands of Russian troops then the next stop will be Kyiv,” she added.

Vaessen described a palpable feeling of “tension, fear and stress” in the city among those who had opted not to flee and are now readying to defend it from an anticipated Russian attack.

“They have put up barricades with whatever they could find and there are checkpoints everywhere,” she said.

“The Russian advance to the capital has been stalled in the last week, but there [are fears] the advance – and even heavy bombardment – on Kyiv could happen in the next few days.”

2 hours ago (08:04 GMT)

China to provide $791,540 worth of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine

The Chinese Red Cross will provide a batch of humanitarian assistance worth 5 million yuan ($791,540) to Ukraine, consisting of daily necessities, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has said.

Until now, Beijing has attempted to strike a delicate balancing act over Moscow’s incursion.

It has refrained from calling Russia’s attack an “invasion” and neither openly denounced nor supported the move.

2 hours ago (07:37 GMT)

Enerhodar says civilians can be evacuated

The mayor of the southeastern Ukrainian city of Enerhodar has said a temporary ceasefire was in force, allowing the evacuation of civilians to start through a “humanitarian corridor”.

Mayor Dmytro Orlov said humanitarian supplies would be allowed into the city, which has been under fire from Russian forces, and added: “On the way back, buses will pick up civilians who want to leave.”

He said civilians would be able to go to the nearby city of Zaporizhzhia.

2 hours ago (07:34 GMT)

Russia’s Gazprom continues gas shipments via Ukraine at same level

Russian natural gas company Gazprom has continued gas shipments via Ukraine at the same volume of 109.5 million cubic metres a day, the company has said.

2 hours ago (07:28 GMT)

Russia warns the West: Our sanctions will hurt you

Russia has warned the West that it is working on a broad response to sanctions that would be swift and felt in the West’s most sensitive areas.

“Russia’s reaction will be swift, thoughtful and sensitive for those it addresses,” Dmitry Birichevsky, the director of the foreign ministry’s department for economic cooperation, was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.

2 hours ago (07:26 GMT)

EU’s von der Leyen says have enough gas for this winter

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that the bloc has bought enough liquefied natural gas that it should be independent of Russian imports up until the end of the winter.

Von der Leyen also told Germany’s ARD television that sanctions against Russia were designed to cause maximum impact on Moscow, while causing the least damage possible to Western economies.

2 hours ago (07:22 GMT)

UK’s Mothercare suspends all business in Russia

UK baby products retailer Mothercare has said all its business in Russia, including shipment of all products, has been suspended.

The company said its local partner in Russia will be pausing operations in about 120 stores and online.

Russia represents around 20 to 25 percent of Mothercare’s worldwide retail sales and was previously expected to contribute around 0.5 million pounds ($0.7m) per month to group profit.

3 hours ago (07:08 GMT)

Top lawmakers reach deal on Ukraine aid

Congressional leaders have reached a bipartisan deal providing $13.6bn to help Ukraine and European allies plus billions more to battle the pandemic as part of an overdue $1.5 trillion measure financing federal agencies for the rest of this year.

Though a tiny portion of the massive bill, the money responding to the Russian blitzkrieg ensured robust bipartisan support for the legislation.

President Joe Biden had requested $10bn for military, humanitarian and economic aid last week, and Democratic and Republican backing was so staunch that the figure grew to $12bn Monday and $13.6bn just a day later.