Russia has declared a partial ceasefire to allow civilians leave the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha in Ukraine.
According to Russia’s Ministry of Defence, the ceasefire on Saturday would enable humanitarian corridors out of the strategic port of Mariupol in the southeast and the eastern town of Volnovakha.
The truce, which will see the safe evacuation of thousands of civilians from the war, is expected to last until 4 pm local time.
‘From 10:00 am Moscow time, the Russian side declares a ceasefire and the opening of humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to leave Mariupol and Volnovakha’, the Defence Ministry announced.
Governor of the Donetsk Oblast, Pavlo Kirilenko, the region where the two cities are sited, confirmed the ceasefire on Facebook.
‘We are negotiating with the Russian side to confirm the ceasefire along the entire route of evacuation for civilians from Mariupol’, the Governor said.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded that the temporary ceasefire would allow women and children to leave the area.
‘We managed to get an agreement to provide assistance to those cities in Ukraine that are in the dire and worst situation, Mariupol and Volnovakha, to save children and women and older people. To provide medication and food to those who stay there in those places’, the Zelenskyy said.
‘Those people willing to leave these places should be able to do so now using the humanitarian corridor, but those who can should continue fighting.
‘We do everything we can on our side to make sure this agreement works, regarding the humanitarian corridors and we will see if we can move even further about our negotiations with Russia’.
According to the United Nations, about 1.3 million civilians have fled Ukraine since Russian declared war on the country on 24th February.
Only on Friday, over 775 Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.