Fears over thousands of civilians trapped in besieged Ukrainian cities mounted as Russia continued to bomb residential areas and thwart evacuations on Tuesday.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations claimed Moscow would cease fire Tuesday morning and allow residents of Sumy, Zhytomyr, Kharkiv, Mariupol and suburbs of Kyiv safe passage.
But the plan was met with doubts from Ukrainian leaders after several previous attempts to set up the so-called humanitarian corridors were shattered when Russia repeated its attacks.
As the invasion entered its 13th day, Russia continued to drop a steady stream of rockets and shells at population centers.
Children were reportedly among more than 10 people killed in Russian airstrikes in the northeastern city of Sumy and its suburbs on Monday night.
Local leader Dmytro Zhyvytsky shared the tragic update in a Facebook Live video translated by BBC.
“Unfortunately, children are among those killed,” Zhyvytsky said of the 11 p.m. bombings by Russian warplanes, according to the outlet.
“We’ll never forgive that!” he wrote in a later post.
The mayor of Bucha, a Kyiv suburb, said her city was constantly being hit by Russian artillery fire, leaving bodies strewn on the streets.
“We can’t even collect the bodies because the heavy weapon fire doesn’t stop day and night,” Mayor Anatol Fedoruk said. “Dogs are tearing up the corpses on the city streets. It’s a nightmare.”
The town of 36,971 was one of several in eastern and central Ukraine that Russian forces continued to bombard overnight Monday through Tuesday.
Soldiers and volunteers worked to fortify the capital, Kyiv, where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to remain in place despite the looming threat from Russian forces in the north.
Zelensky defiantly gave his location during a video posted to social media on Monday, vowing, “I’m staying in Kyiv.”
“On Bankova Street [where the presidential offices are located],” he added. “I’m not hiding, and I’m not afraid of anyone.”
During an interview with ABC World News Tonight aired Monday eveningZelenskyy urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to get out of his “bubble” and start “dialogue” about ending the invasion.
Zelensky was scheduled to address Britain’s House of Commons in a video call later on Tuesday while continuing to urge Western countries to establish a no-fly zone over his nation.
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Tuesday the pace of Russia’s advance had “significantly slowed down” and that enemy troops were “demoralized”.
Ministry of Defense of Ukraine called A senior Russian general, Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, was killed in fighting near Kharkiv in the northeast on Monday. Ukrainian officials also said two Russian planes were shot down over Kyiv and in a nearby area on Monday.
However, conditions in the encircled southeastern city of Mariupol were becoming increasingly desperate and almost half the population, an estimated 200,000 people, hoped to escape.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, predicted a ceasefire at 10 a.m. Moscow time and the opening of humanitarian corridors.
Ukraine officials previously scorned the safe corridor proposal as a “completely immoral” ploy – because the escape routes proposed by the Kremlin would do so Guide refugees to Russia or its ally Belarus.
Nebenzia dismissed the claim, saying: “It will be the choice of the people themselves where they want to be evacuated.”
There were also alarming reports that the corridors could be a trap: A senior Red Cross official told the BBC on Monday that agency workers attempting to use a passageway out of Mariupol said the route had been blocked with landmines.
In the key western city of Lviv, meanwhile, officials warned of the humanitarian situation as displaced people from war-torn parts of the country began arriving en masse amid ongoing attacks.
More than 200,000 Ukrainians have taken refuge in Lviv – a key transit point for those trying to flee across the border to Poland. Displaced civilians have found shelter in schools, gymnasiums, churches and hospitals.
But the mayor of Lviv sounded the alarm about possible food shortages.
“We really need support,” said Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, who called for large tents with kitchens to feed the growing number of people stopping in the city.
More than 1.7 million Ukrainian citizens – mostly women and children – have fled to central Europe before Russia invaded their country, the UN refugee agency said on Monday.
According to the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell, the European Union could see up to 5 million refugees if Russia’s deadly invasion continues, Reuters reported.
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/03/08/humanitarian-conditions-worsen-in-ukraine-as-displaced-masses-seek-safety/ Humanitarian conditions in Ukraine are deteriorating as displaced masses seek shelter