Ukrainian Civilians Evacuated, As Russians Try to Level Cities

After Russia decided to halt its bombardment, civilians are being evacuated from two devastated districts of Ukraine.

Hundreds of people departed Irpin near Kyiv, while a convoy of buses and automobiles transporting largely international students left Sumy in the north.

Previous evacuations have been unsuccessful, with Russia being blamed for bombarding corridors.

Since Russia’s incursion about two weeks ago, the UN estimates that more than two million people have fled Ukraine.

On Tuesday morning, buses began leaving Sumy for the city of Poltava, which is further south and away from the front lines.

Among those evacuated were Indian and Chinese pupils. According to the Indian government, all of the city’s 694 students left with the convoy.

Mohammad Mahtab Raza, a 23-year-old Indian medical student, told reporters that he had spent days hiding from Russian bombardment in an underground bunker as he awaited evacuation.

“Every day, my entire family calls to inquire, ‘When will you return, what is your situation?’ Right now, I’m simply lying to my mother and brother, saying things like ‘we’re OK, everything’s perfect, we’ll be here soon.’ “he stated

Anastasia, a 22-year-old medical student, was still debating whether or not to attend.

“Now I have to decide whether or not to leave my family since [my] grandparents have decided not to travel and my mother cannot leave them, so I have to decide whether or not to leave them alone.”

The truce appears to have been mostly maintained in Sumy, but Russian forces have continued to shell other Ukrainian cities.

An evacuation route from Mariupol is being shelled, according to Ukrainian officials, in breach of the ceasefire agreement.

According to the Russian defense ministry’s Facebook page, the Russian army “launched an offensive directly at the humanitarian corridor” and “did not let children, women, or the old to escape the city.”

Meanwhile, the city’s position remains hopeless.

Diana, a local, told reporters that it was horrifying.

“It seemed like hell to me,” she added.

“Constant shelling above you, and no electricity, heat, or water at the same time.” Because of the shelling, the coroner office is unable to properly collect the remains.

Residents of Irpin, north of Kyiv, have been fleeing, many of them crossing a critically damaged bridge that was blown up to prevent a Russian advance.

“The city is virtually destroyed, and in the neighborhood where I live, it’s as if there aren’t any houses that haven’t been attacked,” a young mother told Reuters.

“More than 150 people have been evacuated as of 09:30 [07:30 GMT], and actions are underway [from Irpin],” stated Kyiv Region Governor Oleksiy Kuleba, according to the agency.

Russia also claims to have established corridors between Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv, although Ukraine has not confirmed this.

Russia announced corridors from Kyiv and Kharkiv on Monday, but Ukraine ignored them since they only went to Belarus and Russia.

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