Vassily Nebenzia announces new evacuation plan
Russia’s UN envoy announces new ceasefire for Tuesday morning, says Ukrainians can choose ‘where they want to be evacuated to’.
A top Russian diplomat has announced plans for another ceasefire in Ukraine, saying Moscow will open humanitarian corridors to let civilians in besieged Ukrainian cities evacuate in the direction of their choice.
Vassily Nebenzia’s announcement at the United Nations Security Council on Monday came after Ukraine rejected an earlier Russian plan that proposed evacuation routes mostly to Russia and its ally, Belarus.
Kyiv had called the earlier plan “completely immoral”.
Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN, said Russian forces will observe the new ceasefire at 10am Moscow time (07:00 GMT) on Tuesday and open evacuation or humanitarian corridors leading away from the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol.
“Incidentally, this proposal makes no demands that citizens be sent necessarily to Russia – to Russian territories,” he said.
“There’s also evacuation offered towards Ukrainian cities to the west of Kyiv, and ultimately it will be the choice of the people themselves where they want to be evacuated to.”
There was no immediate comment from Kyiv.
But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of reneging on previous escape route agreements, and trying to stop people such as by planting explosives on roads.
“There was an agreement on humanitarian corridors. Did that work? Russian tanks worked in its place, Russian Grads (multiple rocket launchers), Russian mines,” Zelensky said in a video posted on Telegram.
Accusing Moscow of “cynicism”, Zelensky also said Russian troops destroyed buses that were due to evacuate civilians from the combat zones.
“They ensure that a small corridor to the occupied territory is open for a few dozen people. Not so much towards Russia as towards the propagandists, directly towards the television cameras,” he said.
At the UN Security Council’s emergency meeting, Martin Griffiths, the UN’s under-secretary for humanitarian affairs, said the global body urgently needed safe passage to deliver aid to the besieged cities.
Russia-Ukraine war: Moscow announces new evacuation plan Al Jazeera English