Ukraine war: Russia promises another temporary ceasefire to allow Ukrainian civilians to escape besieged cities | World News

Russia has promised another temporary ceasefire to allow civilians to escape from besieged cities – despite failing to honor similar previous pledges.

Mikhail Mizintsev, head of Russia’s National Defense Control Center, said Russian forces would “observe a regime of silence” from 10am Moscow time (7am UK time), which would allow civilians to safely leave Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol, according to to the Russian TASS news agency.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Ukraine will try to evacuate civilians through six “humanitarian corridors”, including from the besieged southern port city of Mariupol.

She said in a video statement that Ukrainian armed forces had agreed to stop firing in those areas from 9am until 9pm (0700-1900 GMT) and urged Russian forces to fulfill their commitment to local ceasefires.

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Zelenskyy echoes Churchill in speech

She said the corridors that would open would go from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia; Enerhodar to Zaporizhzhia; Sumy to Poltava; Izyum to Lozova; Volnovakha to Pokrovsk; and from several towns around Kyiv which she identified as Vorzel, Borodyanka, Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel to the capital.

Earlier an air alert was declared in and around Kyiv, with residents urged to get to bomb shelters as quickly as possible.

“Kyiv region – air alert. Threat of a missile attack. Everyone immediately to shelters,” regional administration head Oleksiy Kuleba said on Telegram.

The capital’s deputy mayor said heat, water, power supplies and phone connections are working in the city.

Key developments:
US bans Russian oil imports and UK will phase them out by end of year
US says Poland’s offer of MIG-29 fighter jets to be passed to Ukraine ‘not tenable’
Criminal offense for any Russian plane to enter UK airspace, says transport secretary
First Lady Olena Zelenska writes open letter condemning Putin and ‘mass murder of civilians’
Woman charged in New York with being a Russian agent for more than a decade

In an intelligence update early on Wednesday, the UK’s Ministry of Defense tweeted that Ukraine’s air defenses were having success against Russian jets, likely preventing Russia from controlling the airspace.

“Ukrainian air defenses appear to have enjoyed considerable success against Russia’s modern combat aircraft, probably preventing them achieving any degree of control of the air,” the update said.

The assessment also said Russian forces had failed to make any significant breakthroughs in fighting north west of Kyiv.

A map of where Ukrainian refugees have fled
Image:
A map of where Ukrainian refugees have fled

‘5,000 Ukrainians evacuated in first successful humanitarian corridor’

The first successful route since the invasion began opened on Tuesday and allowed civilians to leave Sumy.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that 5,000 people, including 1,700 international students, were evacuated.

She said another planned evacuation from the southern port of Mariupol failed on Tuesday because Russian troops fired on a Ukrainian convoy carrying humanitarian cargo.

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‘They’re turning Sumy into hell’

The Russian military has denied firing on convoys.

On Wednesday Russia’s foreign ministry claimed around 140,000 Ukrainians have fled to Russia.

The number of Ukrainian refugees has surpassed two million, according to the UN.

Diplomatic efforts continue after ban on Russian oil imports

Diplomatic efforts are set to continue today, with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss due to meet her US counterpart Antony Blinken to discuss more efforts to help Ukraine and reduce energy reliance on Russia.

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Ukraine: Sounds of war ‘rumble on’

The US previously announced a ban on Russian oil and gas imports, while the UK pledged to phase them out by the end of 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised President Joe Biden’s decision, saying he was “grateful” for “this most powerful signal to the whole world”.

“It is very simple: every penny paid to Russia turns into bullets and projectiles that fly to other sovereign states,” he said.

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US Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to meet Polish officials today, with talks expected to focus on US efforts to help Poland and other eastern European countries that have taken in the large numbers of refugees.

The discussions come after the Pentagon dismissed Poland’s offer to give all of its MIG-29 fighter jets to the US so they can be passed to Ukraine, saying the proposal is not “tenable”.

The Russian foreign ministry is due to give a news conference at 12pm Moscow time (9am UK time).

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