Russia-Ukraine war updates LIVE – Putin’s forces ‘ready to provide humanitarian corridors’ TODAY as UN urge safe passage

THE UN have urged Russian and Ukrainian forces to allow safe passage to civilians in besieged Ukrainian cities and aid to areas of fighting, as the crisis in Ukraine is rapidly deteriorating.

Many countries including the United States, Ireland and France as well as U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths sounded the alarm over the rapidly rising number of civilian casualties.

Russia had offered Ukrainians escape routes to Russia and Belarus, its close ally, early on Monday after weekend evacuation ceasefire attempts failed.

Griffiths, the U.N. aid chief, told the meeting all parties must take constant care to spare civilians, who should be allowed safe passage to wherever they would like to flee.

Humanitarian corridors should also be established, he said.

He went on to say: “Civilians in places like Mariupol, Kharkiv, Melitopol, and elsewhere desperately need aid, especially life-saving medical supplies.”

According to Russian state media Russia will declare a “silence regime” and is ready to provide humanitarian corridors in Ukraine at 10:00 Moscow time (07:00 GMT).

They are quoting Russian defence ministry officials as saying this will be done to evacuate civilians from the cities of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol.

Putin has previously made similar promises several times over last few days and has broken the same promises by shelling fleeing civilians.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up to the minute updates…

  • Daring Sun man saves five deaf Ukraine students

    A daring Sun dash to the Russian front line turned into a rescue yesterday as five stranded students from a school for the deaf piled into our cars to flee.

    The pupils — aged 11 to 19 — and their teacher crammed into the convoy as artillery roared overhead.

    Their school in war-torn Kamenskoye had been battered by two direct hits.

    One smashed a hole in a dormitory wall, the other crashed into an office.

    Most of their mates had fled on the first day of Putin’s onslaught — but five of the students had nowhere to go as their parents live in occupied territories.

    They said shelling had spiked in the previous 24 hours, while Ukrainian troops feared an assault.

  • Zelenskyy will give ‘historic’ address to MPs today

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will give a “historic address” to British MPs virtually today at 5pm.

    The statement, which will be given by video link, was confirmed by Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle this evening.

    He said: “Every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for the House.”

    Formal parliamentary business will be suspended while MPs hear from President Zelenskyy. There will be no questions taken afterwards.

  • Scotland v Ukraine World Cup game update

    A World Cup semi-final play-off between Scotland and Ukraine in Glasgow has been postponed.

    The game was originally scheduled for March 24, is now likely to take place in June.

    World football’s governing body Fifa has agreed to a request last week by the Ukrainian Football Association.

  • Russia threatens to cut off Europe’s gas supply

    Russia warned on Monday it might close off its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West went ahead and banned Russian oil.

    Alexander Novak, Deputy Prime Minister, said such a move would lead to “catastrophic consequences” for global supply.

  • UN urges Russia, Ukraine to provide safe passage

    The UN humanitarian chief, Martin Griffiths, has called on Ukraine and Russia to ensure safe passage for civilians fleeing.

    The security situation within Ukraine has made it difficult for The UN and its partners to provide many with food despite already reaching hundreds of thousands of people.

    The statement comes as both sides lobbed accusations at each other of preventing civilians from safely leaving.

    Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN accused Russia of shelling humanitarian corridors – blocking civilians from fleeing to Europe and preventing the delivery of life saving aid.

    But Russia’s ambassador to the UN denied the allegations, claiming without substantiation that it was Ukraine that was denying safe passage.

  • PM calls for ‘step-by-step’ approach to banning Russian oil and gas

    European countries need to secure substitute sources of energy supply if they are to ban Russian oil and gas imports in a further tightening of the economic squeeze on Moscow, Boris Johnson has warned.

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said over the weekend that Washington was in “very active discussions” with European allies over energy sanctions amid calls from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for tougher action.

    His comments saw gas prices surge by more than 70% to a new all-time high, while the cost of oil reached its highest level for 14 years.

    But following talks in Downing Street with the prime ministers of Canada and the Netherlands, Mr Johnson called for a “step-by-step” approach as European countries weaned themselves off Russian hydrocarbons.

    In the UK, he said ministers were looking at the possibility of using more oil and gas from British sources – although he insisted this did not mean abandoning its commitment reducing carbon emissions.

    “It is completely the right thing to do to move away from dependence on Russian hydrocarbons, but we have to do it step by step,” he told a joint news conference.

    “We have got to make sure we have substitute supply. One of the things we are looking at is the possibility of using more of our own hydrocarbons

    “That doesn’t mean we are in any way abandoning our commitment to reducing CO2, but we have got to reflect the reality that there is a crunch on at the moment. We need to increase our self-reliance.”

  • Sainsbury’s and Co-op pull Russian goods from shelves

    The Sun understands no UK supermarket has yet banned any of Coca-Cola’s brands – which include Monster, Oasis, Smart Water, Innocent and Powerade – but other products have been.

    Sainsbury’s last week revoked all products that are fully sourced from Russia.

    The move means Brits can no longer buy Russian Standard vodka and Karpayskiye black sunflower seeds from any store or online.

    The chain joined the Co-op which was the first UK supermarket group to remove Russian-made vodka from sale in response to the crisis.

  • ‘Boycott Coca Cola’

    SHOPPERS are calling on UK supermarkets to “do the right thing” and pull Coca Cola products from their shelves.

    The drinks giant, which also owns Sprite, Fanta, Schweppes and Dr Pepper, is continuing to operate in Russia despite President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

    Three Ukrainian supermarket chains have already halted sales of all drinks made by the “shameless” company.

    But customers want British stores to follow suit in solidarity and strip them from the aisles here.

    Addressing Sainsbury’s directly, one woman wrote on Twitter: “Pathetic. If you want to make a difference, stop selling Coca-Cola.

    “They are still selling to Russia. Russia has cut off water supply to over a million people.

    “Do the right thing. #BoycottCocaCola.”

  • Aid worker shot dead by Russian ‘death squad’ after refusing to abandon dogs

    AN AID worker has been shot dead by a Russian ‘death squad’ after valiantly refusing to evacuate so she could save Ukrainian dogs, it has been reported.

    Anastasiia Yalanskaya, 26, was slaughtered alongside two other volunteers as they delivered food to a local dog shelter in Bucha, 18 miles outside of Kyiv.

    Her devastated family revealed the trio were making the treacherous journey when their car was deliberately targeted at close range by Putin’s henchmen toting “heavy weaponry”.

    They believe troops are now killing civilians at random to weaken the resistance to the Russian regime and terrify innocent people.

  • Attacking while removing their dead

    Around a dozen soldiers were helping people carry bags across a bridge over the River Irpin when they were forced to scatter by incoming missiles.

    A soldier was telling one journalist how heartbroken families had been trying to bring their dead children out of the town when the missile slammed into the road just yards away.

    Medics dashed across the road to tend to the family but the mother and her two children were killed instantly.

    Only the father and the family dog – barking in terror in a small carrier – survived.

  • Russians are being lied to

    In a stunning condemnation of Putin‘s regime, Captured Russian commander Mikhailovich said he felt “sorry” for people back home in Russia who are “misinformed” about the war.

    “Some do not even have internet,” he said. “They have no alternative (to state media). They are constantly brainwashed.”

    He went on: “Maybe I really deserved to learn this lesson, so I could finally see and try to tell it to those who are in Russia. They do not realise what is happening here.”

    And he admitted that he would “do the same” as the Ukrainians in resisting an invasion if the equivalent had happened in Russia.

  • How is Putin brainwashing his troops?

    Captured Russian commander  Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich  described what he was told before the start of the invasion on February 22

    He said he and his comrades were told Ukraine was “dominated by a fascist regime”, that “nationalists and Nazis had seized power,” and that they were there to help the people of Ukraine get rid of them.

    “Obviously, this information was unilateral information,” he said.

    “Of course, we have internet, sometimes we get something from other sources. We had some doubts. We did not know the situation for sure.”

    He said he had further doubts on learning that his favourite boxers, Ukrainians Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko, were both planning to fight against the invasion.

    “I feel shame that we came to this country… I don’t know why we were doing it. We knew very little. We brought sorrow to this land.”

    He added that he and his fellow captives were prepared to “go to jail or whatever we deserve,” for their actions in Ukraine.

  • Captured Russian commander urges comrades to defect

    Mikhailovich, who denied he was being pressured by his captors into speaking, addressed his fellow Russian soldiers directly.

    “Guys, be brave,” he said. “It’s easier for me, I’m in this situation already.

    “You are in a tense situation, going against your own commander. But this is genocide.”

    He went on: “Russia cannot win here anyway. Even if we go until the very end. We can invade the territory, but we cannot invade the people.”

    The commander said that “a Russian would be ashamed to confess that he is Russian” following the invasion.

  • Thanks for reading

    Joe Gamp signing out for the evening.

    That’s it for today’s rolling coverage of the war in Ukraine.

    Louis Allwood back with you from 6am.

  • US dismisses Russia’s claims of major progress in northern Ukraine

     The United States does not believe Russian forces have made major progress in the north and northeast of Ukraine in the last few days, the Pentagon said on Monday.

    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that Russian troops had taken the city of Kherson and were attempting to encircle Mariupol, but were not in control of it. Russia-Ukraine war updates LIVE – Putin’s forces ‘ready to provide humanitarian corridors’ TODAY as UN urge safe passage

Bobby Allyn

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