Safe Route for Civilians in Mariupol in Exchange of Russian Prisoners

Story Highlights
  • Humanitarian corridor for women, children and elderly in Mariupol from 2:00pm local time.
  • Ukraine agrees to swap Russian prisoners in exchange of safe route for civilians.
  • US expected to announce another package of military aid of the same size as the $800 million.

Kyiv: Russian forces in the Kherson region are prohibiting residents of the village Zolotaya Balka from trying to evacuate and intending to use them as as human shields, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have said.

Thousands of civilians – mostly women and children – and Ukrainian troops are holed up in the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol without food supplies. About 100,000 people have no access to food and essential supplies since the nation was hit in February.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he is ready to swap Russian prisoners of war in exchange for the safe passage of stranded civilians and troops in Mariupol. It is being learnt that the Ukrainians have suceeded in talks with Moscow forces to open a safe route for civilians on Wednesday. Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has asked all civilians to gather at 2:00 pm (1100 GMT) for the evacuations heading to the Ukrainian-held city of Zaporizhzhia.

US President Joe Biden is to address Americans from the White House Roosevelt Room at 9.45 a.m. (1345 GMT) and a source familiar with the planning told reporters he is “expected to provide an update on our efforts to support Ukraine and the assistance we are providing”.

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