French President Emmanuel Macron also dismissed the plan as a cynical move by Moscow. “I don’t know many Ukrainians who want to seek refuge in Russia. That’s hypocrisy,” he said in an interview on French news broadcaster LCI.
Russia announced yet another limited cease-fire and the establishment of safe corridors to allow civilians to flee some besieged Ukrainian cities Monday. But the evacuation routes led mostly to Russia and its ally Belarus, drawing withering criticism from Ukraine and others, AP reports.
Ukrainian officials accused Moscow of resorting to “medieval siege” tactics in places, and in one of the most desperate of the encircled cities, the southern port of Mariupol, there were no immediate signs of an evacuation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces continued to pummel some cities with rockets even after the announcement of corridors, and fierce fighting raged in places, indicating there would be no wider cessation of hostilities.
Efforts to set up safe passage for civilians over the weekend fell apart amid continued shelling. But the Russian Defense Ministry announced a new push Monday, saying civilians would be allowed to leave the capital of Kyiv, Mariupol and the cities of Kharkiv and Sumy.
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