Ukraine War Update: Local media reports suggest that Russian troops may be blocking a pre-agreed humanitarian corridor from Enerhodar and Berdyansk to Zaporizhzhia, a city located in the south-eastern region of Ukraine and on the banks of the Dnieper River.
“According to Zaporizhzhia Oblast Governor Oleksandr Starukh, pre-agreed evacuation routes from Enerhodar and Berdyansk to Zaporizhzhia were blocked by Russia,” the Kyiv Independent reported on Tuesday.v
The report comes after the Ukrainian government announced on Tuesday that it was operating three humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians out of Mariupol, as well as Melitopol and Enerhodar – two other southern Ukrainian cities occupied by Russian troops.
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Melitopol and Enerhodar are not safe for citizens remaining there and that for the past several weeks, Russian soldiers have kidnapped many local pro-Ukraine politicians and political figures.
The humanitarian routes out of all three cities were intended to converge in Zaporizhzhia, a city still controlled by Ukraine.
Zaporizhzhia Route Was Agreed In Early March
Authorities in Mariupol said at the beginning of March that a Mariupol- Nikolskoe – Rozovka – Pologi – Orekhov – Zaporizhzhia route had been chosen as a humanitarian corridor and agreed with the Russians.
Russia declared a partial ceasefire on Saturday, March 5, with the intention of allowing citizens to flee the cities. The 64km route, however, did not prove to be a safe humanitarian corridor after all, with reports revealing only days later that Russian forces began shelling the corridor.
Writing on Twitter at the time, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said that Russia violated the ceasefire agreement.
“Ceasefire violated! Eight trucks and 30 buses ready to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol and to evacuate civilians to Zaporizhzhia. Pressure on Russia MUST step up to make it uphold its commitments,” he said.
We await further local reports to determine the current situation on the humanitarian corridor to Zaporizhzhia.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.