‘No demands’ – Russia offers Ukrainians a new plan for safe evacuation

  • Russia wants to open another ceasefire corridor for civilians, said Vassily Nebenzia.
  • It will not force Ukrainians to flee to Russian territories.
  • Ukraine has not yet responded to the latest offer.

A Russian top diplomat has announced plans for another ceasefire in Ukraine, saying Moscow will open humanitarian corridors to allow civilians in besieged Ukrainian cities to evacuate in the direction of their election.

Vassily Nebenzia’s announcement in the UN Security Council on Monday came after Ukraine rejected an earlier Russian plan proposing evacuation routes mainly to Russia and its ally, Belarus.

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Kiev had called the previous plan “completely immoral”.

Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, said Russian forces would abide by the new ceasefire at 10:00 Moscow time (07:00 GMT) on Tuesday and open humanitarian corridors leading away from the cities of Kiev, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol. .

He said:

Incidentally, this proposal does not require citizens to be sent to Russia – to Russian territories.

“Evacuation is also being offered to Ukrainian cities west of Kiev, and ultimately it will be the people’s choice where they want to be evacuated to.”

Safe passage

There was no immediate comment from Kiev.

Previous attempts at ceasefire have failed during continued shelling, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire terms.

At the UN Security Council summit, Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said the global body had an urgent need for safe passage to provide aid to the besieged cities.

“Civilians in places like Mariupol, Kharkiv, Melitopol and elsewhere desperately need help, especially life-saving medical supplies,” Griffiths said, calling on all sides to ensure the protection of civilians, homes and infrastructure in Ukraine.

He added:

This includes allowing safe passage for civilians to leave areas of active hostility on a voluntary basis in the direction they choose.

Griffiths also said the UN had an urgent need for a system of “constant communication” with all sides, adding that it had sent a team to Moscow for a first technical meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry.

The goal, he said, is to work on better humanitarian civil-military coordination in order to “upscale” UN operations.

A senior UN official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the AFP news agency that officials also hoped to ensure that humanitarian convoys were not targets of Russian attacks.

So far, the UN has not been involved in the establishment of humanitarian corridors.

More than 1.7 million Ukrainians have fled to Central Europe since Russia invaded their country on February 24.

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‘No demands’ – Russia offers Ukrainians a new plan for safe evacuation

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