Kremlin announces humanitarian corridors from Ukraine to Russia, Belarus

Russian shelling preventing evacuation of civilians, Kyiv says • Russian airstrike on Ukrainian bakery kills 13

 Ukrainian fleeing war zones in  Ukraine are seen at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Palanca Moldova, on  March 3, 2022. (photo credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)
Ukrainian fleeing war zones in Ukraine are seen at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Palanca Moldova, on March 3, 2022.
(photo credit: NATI SHOHAT/FLASH90)

The evacuation of civilians through humanitarian corridors opened in Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy is being prevented by Russian shelling, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

"This prevents the safe passage of humanitarian columns with Ukrainian and foreign citizens, as well as the delivery of medicines and food," it said in a statement. Earlier on Monday, Russia announced a limited ceasefire, claiming it had opened the humanitarian corridors.

However, the opening of the corridors is yet to be initiated, Ukrainian deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, adding that they led from encircled Ukrainian cities to Russian and Belarusian territory. Vereshchuk demanded that the corridors lead West, away from most of the fighting, and both sides are said to be suspicious of the process due to past violations.

Also on Monday, the bodies of 13 civilians were recovered from the rubble caused by an airstrike on a bakery in the Ukrainian town of Makariv in the Kyiv region, local emergency services said in an online statement.

Five people were rescued, it said, adding that in total around 30 people were believed to have been at the factory before the attack.

Read more on the Russia-Ukraine War:

Continued Fighting

Despite the opening of the humanitarian corridors, pro-Russian separatists have carried out an offensive in the southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol and fighting took place mostly in the western part of the city, Russia's defense ministry said on Monday.

About 200,000 people remained trapped in Mariupol, most sleeping underground to escape more than six days of shelling by Russian forces that have cut off food, water, power and heating, according to the Ukrainian authorities.

The Ukrainian military said that Russia is amassing forces for a new wave of attacks against Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mykolayiv. Russian tanks were firing on Monday at the main airport in Ukraine's southern Mykolayiv region which Ukrainian forces had earlier taken back from Russian forces, Governor Vitaliy Kim said in an online post.

The Ukrainian marine forces in the Odessa region claimed to have struck a Russian vessel in the Black Sea on Monday, at noon.

"Russia is probably targeting Ukraine’s communications infrastructure in order to reduce Ukrainian citizens’ access to reliable news and information," a UK Defense Ministry intelligence update said on Monday. "Ukrainian internet access is also highly likely being disrupted as a result of collateral damage from Russian strikes on infrastructure. Over the past week, internet outages have been reported in Mariupol, Sumy, Kyiv and Kharkiv."

The Ukrainian armed forces claimed that 140,000 Ukrainians in total had returned to Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion and that another 20,000 foreign citizens had enlisted with the Ukrainian foreign legion. They also said that Ukraine had received 50,000 armored vests and helmets.

Late on Monday night, Ukrainian Armed Forces' commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny said his forces shot down a Russian plane above Kyiv.

Ceasefire and humanitarian corridor

The Ukrainian foreign ministry called on foreign leaders to force Russia to observe a ceasefire to prevent what it said could be a humanitarian catastrophe.

The ceasefire was announced by Russia at 10:00 Moscow time and will be the third attempt in three days to cease fighting to allow for the evacuation of civilians and humanitarian efforts. Both sides have blamed the other of breaking the ceasefires, and the Monday humanitarian attempt was viewed with suspicion by both sides.

"The government is doing everything possible and impossible to provide humanitarian corridors," said Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a Monday morning address. "It's not easy. After all, Russian terrorists do not keep their word. There is no pity even for children and women, for the wounded. They are shelling residential neighborhoods, they fire on civilians during the evacuation."
"We demand from the Ukrainian side to strictly fulfill all the conditions for the creation of humanitarian corridors in the listed areas and to ensure an organized withdrawal of civilians and foreign citizens," said a statement from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, according to Interfax. "We warn that all attempts by the Ukrainian side once again to deceive Russia and the entire civilized world in disrupting the humanitarian operation, allegedly through the fault of the Russian Federation, this time are useless and pointless."
There are six routes that lead from the besieged cities to relative safety. One route from the capital of Kyiv, two from the coastal city of Mariupol, one from Kharkiv, and two from Sumy. According to the route information published by Interfax, all the routes lead into Russian territory. 

Russia is trying to manipulate French president Emmanuel Macron and other Western leaders by demanding that any humanitarian corridors in Ukraine exit through Russia or Belarus, a senior Ukrainian official said on Monday. "I hope that Macron understands that his name and sincere desire to reality is being used and manipulated by the Russian Federation," Vereshchuk said.

Russia says that it will be monitoring the corridors with UAVs.

In the town of Irpin, near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, civilians were being evacuated without coming under fire on Monday, a day after people trying to flee were caught in Russian shelling, local officials said.

Russian forces are occupying about 30% of Irpin, but everything else in the town is under Ukrainian control, they said.

More than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the Czech Republic, the interior ministry said on Monday, as the country and others in central Europe step up efforts to take in the influx of people fleeing after Russia's invasion.


The United Nations' human rights office said on Monday it had confirmed the deaths of 406 civilians, including 27 children, in Ukraine since the start of Russia's invasion on February 24, but it said the real figure was likely to be much higher.

The latest figures from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which has a monitoring mission in Ukraine, cover the period from February 24 to March 6. The figure compared with 364 confirmed deaths in its report on Sunday.

The Ukrainian military claimed to have killed over 11,000 Russian military personnel and to have destroyed 290 tanks, 999 armored fighting vehicles, 117 artillery pieces, 60 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), 23 anti-aircraft systems, 46 warplanes, 68 helicopters, 454 other ground vehicles, 3 ships, 60 fuel tanks, and 7 UAVs.

The Russian defense ministry said on Monday that it had shot down three Ukrainian SU-27 Fighters, one SU-25, two helicopters, and 8 drones. 

Ukraine has suffered about $10 billion in damage to infrastructure since Russia invaded the country, infrastructure minister Oleksander Kubrakov said on Monday.

He said in televised comments that the figure stood as of Sunday, and added: "The majority of (damaged) structures will be repaired in a year, and the most difficult ones – in two years."