(Update: changes headline, lede)
Kyiv, Mar 7 (EFE).- Russia continues to “sabotage” humanitarian corridors with ceasefire violations as civilians try to leave besieged cities including Kharkiv and Mariupol, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said Monday.
“Russian armed forces have breached the temporary ceasefire with continued shelling and rocket attacks on Kyiv, Mariupol, Volnovakha, Sumy, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv and other cities, towns and villages,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“This makes it impossible for the safe departure of humanitarian convoys carrying Ukrainian and foreign citizens as well as the delivery of medicines and food,” it added.
Monday’s is the third attempt at the evacuation of civilians from besieged cities after similar plans fell apart shortly after a temporary ceasefire was announced over the weekend in Mariupol and Volnovakha.
Both parties have blamed each other for breaching the ceasefire.
“Russia must stop violating the agreement — reached at the second round of negotiation — and stop spreading disinformation and manipulating the lives of civilians,” Ukrainian authorities said.
The issue will be addressed at Monday’s third-round of negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian delegations.
Ukrainian authorities also said it was “absurd, cynical and unacceptable” that four out of six evacuation routes for civilians lead to Russian cities.
“We also consider inappropriate attempts by Moscow to make civilians in the besieged cities flee to the territory of Russia and Belarus, taking into account the high probability of provocations, like taking evacuees hostage or being used by the Russian armed forces as human shields,” the foreing minister said.
Airstrikes hit several residential buildings near a military base in Kharkiv, where Russian troops entered eight days ago, said the emergency service in the besieged northeastern region.
At least eight people died in the bombings on Kharkiv residential areas, while the authorities rescued some 200, the emergency service said in a statement Monday.
At least 21 buildings caught fire in the central part of the city. The fire also affected a music school, residential buildings, student dormitories, and a medical center.
On Sunday, Russian shelling hit an evacuation route in Irpin, just outside Kyiv, killing eight civilians, the city mayor said.
Video of the strike showed families running away from the shelling with their children, luggages and pets as they made their way to buses and cars to continue with their evacuation. EFE