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Russia declares ceasefire in 2 cities in ‘independent’ Donetsk in Ukraine, humanitarian corridor to be opened for civilians to leave war zone

Mariupol and Volnovakha are located in south-eastern party of Ukraine, and are part of Donetsk Oblast, which was declared as independent by Russia ahead of the invasion

On Saturday 5th March 2022, Russia declared a ceasefire of its invasion of Ukraine to open up a humanitarian corridor for the civilians to leave the war zone safely. Russian news agency Sputnik News reported the update citing a statement by the Russian defense ministry.

According to the report, the Russian defense ministry has said, “Today, March 5, from 10 AM Moscow time, the Russian side declares a regime of silence and opens humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilians from Mariupol and Volnovakha.” According to this, civilians living in Mariupol and Volnovakha cities will find it easier to evacuate from the war-hit zone. It is notable that Mariupol is a port town and it holds strategic importance.

Mariupol and Volnovakha are located in south-eastern party of Ukraine, and are part of Donetsk Oblast. Notably, ahead of the invasion, Putin had announced that Russian govt is recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk as “independent”. The Russian president had signed a decree recognizing the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (LPR) as independent.

Sputnik news agency tweeted from its Twitter handle saying, “Russia declares ceasefire in Ukraine from 07:00 GMT to open humanitarian corridors for civilians.”

The Russian defense ministry has also made it clear that they have discussed the details of the humanitarian corridor and the exit routes with their Ukrainian counterparts earlier in the second round of discussion that was held in the Brest city of Belarus. Ukraine had urged in these discussions that Russia should immediately declare a ceasefire and make humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians safely.

On Thursday 3rd March 2022, Ukraine’s presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak had tweeted, “The second round of negotiations is over. Unfortunately, the results Ukraine needs are not yet achieved. There is a solution only for the organization of humanitarian corridors.”

Sputnik News has reported that according to Mykhailo Podolyak, around 20000 people want to leave the city of Volnovakha which is situated in the Donetsk region which along with Luhansk is identified by Russia as an independent entity just before the war began. Currently, the forces of the so-called people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk have blockaded the city of Mariupol which is a port city. According to the report of the Sputnik News agency, the ceasefire will provide time for the local residents to secure essential items.

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