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Ukraine Daily Summary | 8 March 2022

08 March 2022

Following multiple failed humanitarian corridors and ceasefire agreements as Ukrainian civilians continue to desperately flee besieged cities, Tuesday has seen several new evacuation routes established by the Russian forces, aimed at enabling civilians to safely leave. People have been fleeing the cities of Irpin, near Kyiv, and Sumy – where 21 people died in an airstrike on Monday – via evacuation routes which have been agreed by both Ukraine and Russia. Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have claimed that an evacuation route out of the southern port city of Mariupol has come under fire between Mariupol and Zaporizhzhia.

Continued Russian attacks have led to the collapse of several evacuation plans over the last few days, with sources on the ground indicating the breakdowns were due to problems in communicating ceasefires agreed in principle into clear, actionable plans. Previous proposed evacuation routes by Moscow which saw most corridors direct Ukrainian civilians to Russia or its close ally, Belarus, were criticised by Kyiv as “immoral”. Meanwhile, in the western city of Lviv, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens continue to gather as they flee fighting in the rest of the country and seek travel out of the country. The UN estimates that the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine is now estimated to be over two million.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has continued to call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine and is due to address British MPs later on Tuesday, while a fourth round of Ukraine-Russia talks is also set to be held. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has ruled out a no-fly zone but confirmed the UK will supply more “lethal and non-lethal aid” to Ukraine. Wallace also insisted that Russian troops have not progressed as far as Moscow had hoped, suggesting Russian forces were "getting more desperate". Oil giant Shell has also announced it will cease all spot purchases of Russian crude oil following criticism of the company’s purchase of a shipment from Russia last week. In response to European sanctions, Moscow has threated to retaliate by cutting off European gas supplies.

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