Ukrainian Evacuation Efforts Halted by Russian Shelling

A second attempt to evacuate Ukrainians from the port city of Mariupol has failed as Russian shelling continued despite a planned local ceasefire, according to a new report.

Ukrainian military officials said planned evacuations from the southern city were scheduled to begin at noon local time during a 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. local ceasefire, according to the Associated Press.

Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said officials were forced to suspend the evacuation due to a Russian assault.

“There can be no ‘green corridors’ because only the sick brain of the Russians decides when to start shooting and at whom,” he wrote on Telegram.

It marked the second consecutive day in which an evacuation from Mariupol failed due to an unsuccessful ceasefire. Mariupol has been under attack for a week. On Saturday, the planned ceasefire also would have allowed for the evacuation of residents from the city of Volnovakha. Instead, residents were forced to remain in place under Russian shelling and aerial bombardment.

The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed in a tweet that the attempt to begin evacuating an estimated 200,000 people had failed.

“The failed attempts underscore the absence of a detailed and functioning agreement between parties to the conflict,” the group tweeted.

“People in Mariupol and in other places across #Ukraine are living in desperate situation,” ICRC said. “They must be protected at all times. They are not a target. People urgently need water, food, shelter. The basics of life. We need safety guarantees to be able to bring them aid.”

People are living in terror in Mariupol, desperate for safety.

Today’s attempt to start evacuating an estimated 200,000 people has failed.

The failed attempts underscore the absence of a detailed and functioning agreement between parties to the conflict. #Ukraine

Thread 👇

— ICRC (@ICRC) March 6, 2022

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is reportedly considering sending Polish Soviet-era fighter jets to Ukraine, according to the New York Times. The discussions come after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked American legislators for help in obtaining more lethal military aid.

The White House is discussing a deal with Poland that would replace Poland’s planes with American F-16s, the report said. However, President Andrzej Duda said last week that Poland would not supply planes. The office of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki seemed to confirm that sentiment in a tweet on Sunday: “Poland won’t send its fighter jets to #Ukraine as well as allow to use its airports. We significantly help in many areas.”

The discussions come as Ukraine has been under siege for a week and a half.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s national security service said Russian forces are firing rockets at a physics institute in the city of Kharkiv that houses nuclear material and a reactor, according to the Associated Press. The national security service warned that a strike on the facility could cause “large-scale ecological disaster.”

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