Russia has again claimed it would hold to a ceasefire Wednesday morning to allow for the safe passage of Ukrainians fleeing from Kyiv and four other major cities. The promised humanitarian corridors from the capital, along with Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol, come as throngs of citizens remain trapped in those cities amid ongoing attacks from Russia in the area. It remains to be seen if Russia would keep its word, but under a similar promise Tuesday, Russians were accused of fresh war crimes for shelling scores of refugees trying to evacuate along the safe routes. Residents in Kyiv woke up to an air raid alert urging them to head to bomb shelters. The alert was later lifted without any attack in the capital that remained generally quiet amid the war, now in its 14th day. But the capital’s northern suburbs have been besieged by heavy Russian artillery.
Evacuation started in Sumy
The evacuation of civilians has begun in the city of Sumy, in the north east of Ukraine, after the opening of a humanitarian corridor for the second consecutive day. The mayor of the city Oleksandr Lysenko told a TV station, people have started to leave the city in private cars.
Premature babies rescued by volunteers
Three premature babies have been safely transported from Ukraine to Poland. Project Dynamo, an American civilian and ally rescue nonprofit based in Tampa, launched a mission that successfully evacuated twin baby boys and one baby girl from Kyiv on Monday. The rescue mission, which the organization is calling “Gemini”, was accomplished with help from two doctors, two neonatal specialists, a nurse and a Ukrainian ambulance crew.
“We only have resources for a week” – Kiev mayor
Kiev can only last “a week” if Moscow’s forces surround it. The mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Vitalii Klitschko, told CNN the resources of the city can only be enough for seven days. “We need the jets now, help us! Kiev is a target of Moscow,” he added.
Kyiv Independent list Russia’s lost armour
Apart from the 12,000 Russian personnel, who Ukrainian armed forces claim to have been killed in the conflict, Kyiv Independent has listed Russian armour destoyed to date. The list comprises 1,036 armoured personnel carriers, 474 vehicles, 303 tanks, 120 artillery systems, 60 fuel tanks, 56 multiple launch rocket systems, 80 helicopters, 48 aircraft, 27 anti-aircraft warfare systems, seven unmanned aerial vehicles and two boats.
EU agreement to tighten sanctions
The EU has reached an agreement on tightening of the sanctions against Russia and Belarus regarding Ukraine. The French presidency said the meeting of EU ambassadors (COREPER) approved new sanctions against Russian leaders and oligarchs and members of their families involved in the Russian aggression against Ukraine in line with sanctions already adopted. The measures aim to exclude three Belarusian banks from the Swift system, clarify the issue of crypto-currencies and complete the list of technologies and goods that cannot be exported. Sanctions are also approved for the maritime sector. The new measures will be formally adopted by the Council by written procedure with a view to their rapid publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
EU to evaluate temporary ceiling on gas prices
A European Commission spokesman has said the Commission will propose options to limit gas price increases. Answering a question from journalists on the possibility of introducing gas price caps, he said, “To deal with the current emergency, the Commission will examine all possible options to limit the contagious effect of gas prices on electricity prices, such as temporary price limits”. The Commission, the spokesman recalled, “will urgently consult all the actors concerned and propose options in the coming weeks”.
Moscow has stopped the Chernobyl power plant
The Chernobyl power plant is “completely stopped” due to the Russian offensive. The accusation comes from Kiev, according to international media, after yesterday the IAEA had made it known that it had “lost the remote data transmission contact with the Chernobyl safeguard systems”. The Russian forces, according to the operators of the plant, have disconnected the nuclear plant from the grid.
‘Some progress’ in negotiations – Moscow
According to Russia, “some progress” has been made in the negotiations with Ukraine. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a media conference, “There has been some progress in the negotiations aimed at “ending the senseless bloodshed and resistance of the Ukrainian armed forces”.