Updated Mar 5, 2022 - World

Cease-fire agreement falls apart as Russians continue shelling

Residents evacuate the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, during heavy shelling and bombing on March 5, 2022.
Residents evacuate the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, during heavy shelling on Saturday. Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

Shelling by Russian forces halted the civilian evacuations in two Ukrainian cities on Saturday, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, AP reports.

Driving the news: The firing comes hours after the Russian Defense Ministry agreed on evacuation routes with Ukrainian forces for Mariupol, a strategic port in the southeast, and the eastern city of Volnovakha, per AP.

  • “The Russian side is not holding to the cease-fire and has continued firing on Mariupol itself and on its surrounding area,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Zelensky’s office, said.
  • “Talks with the Russian Federation are ongoing regarding setting up a cease-fire and ensuring a safe humanitarian corridor,” he added.
  • Russian forces also broke the cease-fire agreement in Volnovakha.
  • "We appeal to the Russian side to stop firing," Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said, per AP.

The big picture: The Russian military announced Saturday that they would observe a cease-fire in the two areas, but it was not clear how long the agreement would last and how long the civilian routes would stay open.

  • The temporary cease-fire came after Russian forces had surrounded the strategic port city of Mariupol and engaged in a continuous assault for more than 30 hours, Axios' Zachary Basu and Dave Lawler reports.
  • The city of 400,000 has no electricity or water and has been completely blockaded, according to the deputy mayor, who also estimated that 200 civilians had been killed.

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