As per the Russian media agency, the Russian Defense Ministry has claimed a cease-fire in two besieged cities of Ukraine to allow civilians to flee. However, with Russian bombardments continuing, it appeared to break down swiftly.
“Today on 5th March 2022, the cease-fire declared at 10.00 am Moscow hour (8 am GMT, 3 am Eastern Standard Time). The humanitarian corridors opened to allow civilians to exit from the Mariupol and Volnovakha,” the ministry stated in a statement issued by Tass news by a Russian media agency.
However, the reports of Ukrainian officials state that cease-fire was not being observed, and evacuation from Mariupol postpones due to negotiations ongoing.
“The Russian side is not sticking to the cease-fire and continues firing at Mariupol as well as its surroundings,” states Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine since May 21, 2019.
Also, the news media reported that Ukraine President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy declared, “We do everything from our side to ensure the agreement works.”
“This is one of our primary tasks for today. Let’s see if we can move forward in the negotiation process.”
“The Russians are continuing to bombard us with artillery and bombs. It is crazy,” the Mariupol’s deputy mayor Serhiy Orlov spoke to the BBC. “Right now, I am in the Mariupol; I am on the street. I can hear shells exploding every three-five minutes.” one person who lives there told BBC.
The Associated Press reports that the Ukrainian military forces have not officially acknowledged the cease-fire.
The City Council of Mariupol had released an official statement on their Telegram channel, acknowledging the news of the cease-fire and humanitarian corridor, but warned of the legality.
The previous day, Mariupol Mayor Vadim Boychemko stated, “Dear Mariupol residents, the shifting of civilians from the city begins today. It is a difficult choice, but as I have always said, Mariupol is not about houses and streets.
“Mariupol is its inhabitants. We are here with you. Our primary mission is to safeguard the people. In the condition when our city is continuously under constant attack from occupiers, there is no any alternative that to allow the residents, that is me and you, to safely leave Mariupol.”