During the Syrian civil war, the Russian and Syrian militaries pursued a strategy of systematically besieging opposition-held cities, towns and districts, sometimes for months or even years. The sieges rained destruction on the populations, with airstrikes, artillery and rockets blasting residential districts, hospitals and infrastructure.

As more Ukrainian towns and cities come under siege, concern is mounting for millions of civilians in the crossfire, AP reports.

Russia has announced the establishment of safe corridors to allow civilians to leave, but there appeared to be few takers. Evacuation routes led mostly to Russia and its ally Belarus, drawing withering criticism from Ukraine and others. And Russia continued to pound some cities with rockets even after the announcement of corridors.

Such tactics were common during the Syria war after Moscow entered the war in 2015 to shore up President Bashar Assad’s forces.


Humanitarian corridors arise when a population is caught in a war zone, particularly when a city or town is under siege. The idea is that hostilities are halted for a certain time to allow civilians who need to flee to do so along designated routes or to allow urgent humanitarian aid to enter for civilians who remain.

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