Mariupol, Mar 5 (EFE).- The evacuation of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine on Saturday was postponed due to a breach by Russia in the temporary ceasefire for the opening of humanitarian corridors, the City Council said.
“Due to the fact that the Russian side is not respecting the truce and continues shelling Mariupol and its surroundings, the evacuation of the population has been postponed for security reasons,” it said in a Telegram post.
Police in Mariupol were using loudspeakers to tell residents to leave the reception points where the evacuation was due to start and take refuge in shelters.
“We are negotiating with the Russian side to confirm the ceasefire along the entire evacuation route,” the council added.
Earlier Saturday, Russia’s defense ministry announced a temporary ceasefire for the opening of humanitarian corridors in order for civilians to be evacuated from two cities in eastern Ukraine, Mariupol and Volnovakha.
The evacuation of Mariupol was scheduled to start at 11am local time, but five minutes before, the ceasefire was still not confirmed.
“At 10:55 local time, the confirmation of the ceasefire was only received in the Donetsk region. Further along the evacuation route, in the Zaporizhia region, fighting is going on,” the city council said,
In his latest video message, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy: “We are doing everything on our part to make the agreement (on humanitarian corridors) work. It is one of the main tasks today. We will see if progress can be made in the negotiating process.”
Mariupol, a strategic Ukrainian port city home to some 450,000 people, has been under siege by Russian troops for five days.
On Thursday, its mayor Vadym Boychenko, said the city was on the verge of a “humanitarian catastrophe” after it was left with no electricity, water and heating due to the continuous shelling by Russian troops. EFE