On Thursday, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its third week, Moscow agreed to open humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians fleeing the country. Ukraine, however, was strongly opposed to the move, arguing that all of the corridors would open into Russian territory. Later, the Russian Defense Ministry called on the Red Cross and the UN to inform people about the corridor.
“Humanitarian corridors towards the Russian Federation will now be opened without any agreements every day at 10:00 am,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson said in a statement. Mikhail Mizintsev continued to say that evacuation routes in other directions would be open “in agreement with the Ukrainian side”. Both sides have been negotiating to open three more corridors as the conflict enters its third week.
Over 2.5 million Ukrainians have demanded to be evacuated to the Russian Federation, Mizintsev noted. Furthermore, he claimed Moscow had evacuated “more than 187,000” civilians to Russia, accusing Ukrainian troops of obstructing the process. Apparently, Ukrainian soldiers were preventing citizens from leaving the seized city of Mariupol.
According to the Volodymyr Zelensky administration, over 80,000 people have been evacuated from Kyiv and Sumy over the past two days. In a video posted to Telegram, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that more than 60,000 people had been evacuated from Sumy and nearby areas in the northeast. “Around 20,000 people have been evacuated” from northwest Kyiv, she said.
Over 2 million refugees
The UN estimates that over 2 million Ukrainians have left the country while over 549 have lost their lives. The report said that the death toll is believed to be higher than this. Nearly 6,000 Russian troops may have died during the battle, according to American officials. Recent satellite images revealed that the 40-mile long Russian convoy headed towards Kyiv has been redeployed as Zelenskyy continues to galvanize support from the west. According to experts, Moscow could take over Kyiv in just a week or two if they continue their invasion.