Moscow: Russia on Saturday declared a temporary ceasefire in the two southern Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha to facilitate the evacuation of civilians via humanitarian corridors, the Defence Ministry in Moscow announced.
The ceasefire went into effect from 10 a.m. (about 1.30 p.m. IST), reports Xinhua news agency.
As was agreed by the Ukrainian side, the humanitarian corridors will allow the exit of civilians from the two cities, the Ministry said, without disclosing how many days the ceasefire will remain in place.
During their second round of peace talks on Thursday, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators agreed on the establishment of humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilians and on a temporary cessation of hostilities along the evacuation routes.
In Ukraine, head of the Donetsk region’s military administration, Pavlo Kirilenko has confirmed the temporary ceasefire and said that his administration is currently working on the details of the evacuation, the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, the Mariupol City Council said the ceasefire will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and evacuations started at 11 a.m.
It added that the route of the corridor is from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia, a city to the west.
The Council further said that buses will leave three locations in the city, and private transport will also be allowed to travel along the designated route.
While it urged drivers to make full use of all the space they have in their vehicles, the Council said that travelling away from the agreed route is strictly forbidden, the BBC reported.
In response to the ceasefire announcement which came on the 10th day of Russian invasion of Ukraine, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said in a statement: “Mariupol is not streets and houses… It is its residents.
“Under the conditions of constant, ruthless shelling from the occupiers, there is no other choice but to give residents…the opportunity to safely leave Mariupol.”