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Ukraine calls Russia’s evacuation proposal ‘absurd’ – RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Ukraine has rejected Russia’s offer to evacuate civilians from major cities during its attack on the neighboring country. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has accused Moscow of blocking evacuations in the past by “bombing raid [safe passage] routes. »

“Now the Russians say they can open [humanitarian] corridors, but they want civilians to leave for Russian territory, which is absurd, cynical and unacceptable,” Vereshchuk wrote on social media on Monday.

The Deputy Prime Minister then told reporters that “our people will not go from Kiev to Belarus and then be airlifted to the Russian Federation.” Vereshchuk said Russia should “I accept” alternative routes for refugees proposed by the Ukrainian side.

The Russian Defense Ministry has urged Ukraine not to prevent civilians from leaving Kyiv, Kharkov, Sumy and Mariupol for Russia on Monday via established routes. Under Moscow’s plan, people leaving Kyiv were to arrive in Belarus, from where they would be flown to Russia, while some of those leaving other cities would cross directly into Russia. The Ministry of Defense promised a temporary ceasefire from 10 a.m. local time on Monday.

A particularly worrying situation is in Mariupol, a town on the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov surrounded by Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) forces backed by Russian troops. The DPR, which broke away from Ukraine shortly after the 2014 coup in Kyiv, considers the city its territory.

Attempts to arrange safe passage from Mariupol on Saturday and Sunday failed, with both sides blaming each other. Ukraine accused Russia of bombing the city, while Moscow claimed that Ukraine “nationalists” used civilians as “a human shield,preventing them from leaving.

Ukraine reported heavy shelling of residential areas in Kyiv, Kharkov and other places. The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, insists it only hits military sites, such as airfields, air defense units and radar stations, and has blamed many attacks on Ukrainian forces.

More than 1.7 million refugees fled west from Ukraine after Russia attacked the country on February 24, according to the UN. Another 96,000 people left for Russia a week before the offensive, during the flare-up between Ukraine and the DPR, as well as the neighboring Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), another entity that seceded from the Ukraine in 2014.

Russia attacked its neighbor last month, claiming it was defending the DPR and the LPR. Moscow also said it was looking “demilitarization and denazification” of the country, insisting that Ukraine never become a member of NATO. Ukraine said the attack was unprovoked and denied claims it planned to retake the breakaway republics by force.

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