The deputy mayor of Mariupol, a port city in southern Ukraine, said the Russians had not honored an agreed ceasefire that was supposed to allow citizens to flee the bombed settlement
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Ukrainians trying to flee their city during a ceasefire were forced to seek shelter after Russian forces continued shelling, it has been reported.
The sound of explosions surrounded people fleeing the city of Mariupol during a five-hour ceasefire this morning.
After less than two hours, many were forced to turn back when it became clear that shelling had continued and fighting had broken out near the evacuation route.
“Because of these fighting, it is not safe to drive on this road,” the city’s deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov told the BBC.
When it became clear that the ceasefire negotiated overnight would not hold, people were urged to seek shelter immediately and await information.
“Right now I’m in Mariupol, I’m on the street. I can hear shells every three to five minutes,” said Alexander, a 44-year-old engineer.
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“The green corridor is (nonsense). I see cars of people who tried to escape and they come back.”
Mr Orlov said fighting broke out in a town along the Zaporizhia road, where the fleeing citizens went.
“Their shelling stopped for a while, but then it resumes,” the deputy mayor said, before saying the Russians used missiles.
He added: “We have decided to bring our citizens back because it is not safe on the street.”
An hour before the shelling and cannon fire erupted, Russian troops had been ordered not to break the armistice.
Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk warned invading forces not to take advantage of the situation.
She said allegations the Russians were approaching Ukrainian positions in areas along evacuation routes were being investigated.
“We use this channel to evacuate civilians — women and children — and deliver humanitarian cargo to those who remain,” she said.
“The whole world is watching.”
Civilians should have safe access from Mariupol between noon and 5 p.m. Moscow time (9 a.m. and 2 p.m. GMT), Russia’s RIA news agency quoted city authorities as saying.
Russia had announced that its troops, which have encircled the port city on the Azov Sea in southern Ukraine, would cease fire and allow civilians to pass.
Russia also said it had planned a ceasefire to allow a humanitarian corridor out of Volnovakha – another besieged city in the south.
Médecins Sans Frontières challenged a safe route out of the city and said several employees in Mariupol were trapped.
“The situation is the same as in the last few days,” it said in a statement.
“That night the shelling was harder and closer. We collected snow and rainwater yesterday to have some service water.
“We tried to get free water today but the queue was huge. We also wanted to get ‘social’ bread, but the timetable and distribution locations are not clear.
“According to people, several grocery stores were destroyed by rockets and the remaining items were taken away by people in desperate need.
“Still no electricity, water, heating and mobile phone connection. No one has heard of an evacuation. Pharmacies no longer have medicines.”
Christine Jamet, MSF director of operations, today called for safe routes for civilians to leave the city, including MSF staff and their families: “Civilians cannot be trapped in a war zone,” Jamet said.
“People seeking safety must be able to do so without fear of violence.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-russia-continues-bomb-mariupol-26393154 Russia keeps bombing Mariupol despite ceasefire, leaving thousands trapped - World News