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Russia posts temporary truce for civilian evacuation of Mariupol, Volnovakha
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 03 - 2022

The Russian military is observing a ceasefire in two areas of Ukraine to allow civilians to evacuate, Russian state media reported Saturday It would be the first breakthrough in allowing civilians to escape the war.
The two cities in question are the strategic port of Mariupol in the southeast and the eastern town of Volnovakha. Moscow said the ceasefire would come into force from "10 a.m. Moscow time" but did not specify how long the routes would remain open.
The governor of Donetsk Oblast, where both cities located, has confirmed that a ceasefire is under way in his region but said "negotiations" are ongoing with Russian troops to ensure the ceasefire holds along the entire evacuation route.
It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lashed out at NATO for refusing to impose a no-fly zone over his country, warning, "all the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance will not police a no-fly zone over Ukraine, warning that such a move could bring a wider war in Europe.
Ukraine's President Zelenskyy accused Moscow of "international terrorism" after it shelled a nuclear plant.
The shelling at the Zaporizhzhya plant did not damage a reactor, and radiation levels are normal. But Ukrainian authorities reported three deaths and two injuries in the attack. There are safety concerns over Ukraine's other nuclear plants.
Battles have continued northwest of Kiev and heavy strikes have hit Kharkiv and Okhtyrka. Ukrainian forces were said to be still holding Chernihiv in the north.
Moscow has cranked up the repression of free speech as Putin seeks to control how his Russian war in Ukraine is reported. Terms like "war" and "invasion" are banned and falling foul of the new law is punishable by up to 15 years in jail. Access to major foreign media is being restricted.
Russian state media regulator Roskomnadzor blocked access to Facebook in the country for its restrictions on RT and state-controlled media content.
Also Zelenskyy said in a televised address on Saturday: "I am sure that soon we will be able to tell our people: come back! Come back from Poland, Romania, Slovakia and other countries. Come back because there is no threat anymore."
Also, Ukraine's Transmission System Operator announced on Saturday that it has struck a deal with its Polish counterpart "to introduce guaranteed capacity for gas imports from March 6, 2022."
"This allows for the physical import of gas from Poland, including from the LNG terminal, on a guaranteed basis, and thus, it contributes to the security of gas supplies for the needs of Ukraine," it added.
The International Committee of the Red Cross announced it has delivered aid to six places across Ukraine over the past few days, including in Mariupol and Kiev. In the capital, they delivered "war-wounded kits to treat people with trauma, burn and gunshot wounds to 2 hospitals".
In another development, Ukraine launches website with information for foreign fighters. Ukraine has waived visa requirements for non-Ukrainians who wish to take part in the fight to defend Ukraine.
Ukraine's Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said on Saturday morning that 66,224 Ukrainian men have returned to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion "to defend their country from the horde."
Also, Olya Guseva. a member of Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, said on Saturday morning that Daniil Ken, the head of a Russian teachers' union, "is now in a special detention center for participating in an action against the war" and is being accused of "spreading false information."
Russian MPS approved a law on Friday that criminalize the use of the words "war" and "invasion" over the attack against Ukraine with sentences of up to 15 years in jail.
And, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba accused Russia of using "ugly tactics aimed at maximum civilian damage" in a Tweet on Saturday morning. Kuleba also renewed his call for more sanctions against Russia. — Euronews


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