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Sumy: Successful humanitarian corridor out of besieged city will be kept open, says official

Sumy which lies on the Russian border is embattled with deadly shelling in recent days

Shweta Sharma
Wednesday 09 March 2022 08:23 GMT
Indian students freed from Sumy and head to Poltava to board trains to western Ukraine

The humanitarian corridor which was the first to be opened in the besieged city of Sumy since Russia’s war on Ukraine will continue to function through Wednesday.

Sumy governor Dmytro Zhyvytskyy said in a Telegram post that evacuation will continue as the corridor will remain open from 9am to 9pm local time.

He said the evacuation of pregnant women, women with children, elderlies, and as well as the disabled will be prioritised as buses would return to haul more people out of the war-torn part to safer places.

Sumy, a north-eastern Ukrainian city of a quarter-million people, lies on the Russian border, and witnessed deadly shelling in recent days.

Russia and Ukraine agreed to hold a ceasefire for a set time frame to allow evacuations by providing safe passage to the people wishing to fee the cities under attack after Moscow launched the biggest assault on a  European country since World War II.

The evacuation from Sumy to Poltava was the only successful humanitarian corridor on Tuesday as 5000 people, clutching bags and rucksacks, made their way out of the city in buses. It included 1,700 foreign students who were trapped in the city.

About 1,000 private cars were also able to leave, moving towards the city of Poltava.

Both sides accused each other of failing to implement a ceasefire and accused the other side of shelling.

Houses damaged by shelling, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are seen in Sumy, Ukraine, 8 March (Andrey Mozgovoy via REUTERS)

Russia said on Wednesday that it will provide humanitarian corridors in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, and Mariupol.

The head of Russia’s National Defence Control Centre, Mikhail Mizintsev, told Tass that Russian forces would "observe a regime of silence" from 10am Moscow time (0700 GMT) in these cities.

Mr Zhyvytskyy said that the city’s residential area was bombed overnight, killing 22 civilians.

Meanwhile, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said the country is ramping up defence capabilities by taking measures in key cities in the north, south and east as Russia’s advance has stalled.

A statement on early Wednesday said that Ukrainian forces around Kyiv are resisting the Russian offensive with unspecified strikes and "holding the line”.

He accused the Russian forces of placing military equipment among residential buildings and on farms for defence in the northern city of Chernihiv.

Some Russian imposters dressed as civilians are also advancing on the city of Mykolaiv, officials have said.

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