Ukraine Daily Summary | 9 March 2022
The focus in Ukraine remains very much on establishing sustainable and actionable evacuation plans for civilians caught in besieged cities. Kyiv aims to evacuate civilians via six humanitarian corridors on Wednesday, including from Irpin, Kharkiv, Sumy, and Mariupol. Ukrainian forces have agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire along evacuation routes from 09:00 local time and have called on Moscow to fulfil their commitment to local ceasefires.
Russia has promised to observe a “regime of silence” in corridors set up for Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Mariupol. The latest temporary local ceasefires and civilian evacuation plans come despite previous failed efforts. Cities under siege continue to report increasingly dire circumstances, with Mariupol facing worsening food shortages in the face of a drawn-out Russian blockade around the city. City officials claim the streets are lined with bodies and that a mass grave had to be dug for 33 people due to cemeteries being cut off by shelling. Meanwhile, in Sumy, recent estimates suggest some 5,000 people were successfully evacuated from the city yesterday, although 22 people, including three children, have been confirmed dead following airstrikes on the city. Fighting continues to be reported in areas north and north-west of Kyiv.
The UN estimates that than more than two million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded last month. Of this figure, around 1.33 million have fled to Poland. The EU is preparing to impose further sanctions on 100 high-level Russian individuals, while the US and the UK have announced plans to become independent of Russian oil and gas exports. Moscow has threatened to respond to Western sanctions with retaliatory measures. Ukrainian MP Dmytro Gurin has called on the US to allow Poland to send fighter jets to the Ukrainian Air Force. Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba are set to meet in Turkey on Thursday for a fourth round of talks. Moscow released a statement claiming the Kremlin doesn’t aim to overthrow the Kyiv government but hopes to create a ‘neutral Ukraine’.
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