Mariupol evacuation halted as civilians killed near Kyiv

A second attempt to evacuate civilians from the besieged southern city of Mariupol has failed – with both sides once again blaming each other for breaking the ceasefire. The Red Cross said the two sides had not agreed on the details of how the evacuation would take place.

In Irpin near Kyiv a mother and two children died as mortar fire hit an evacuation route from the town, which has been under heavy bombardment. Civilians have been fleeing across a destroyed bridge that was blown up by Ukrainian forces to prevent a Russian advance on Kyiv.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin told France’s Emmanuel Macron that Russia would achieve its aims through « negotiation or war », according to a French readout of their nearly-two-hour call. Earlier on Sunday he told Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan much the same thing.

More than 1.5 million people have fled Ukraine in just 10 days, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). The majority – nearly a million – have gone to Poland.

Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has warned that Russian forces are preparing to bombard the southern port city of Odesa.

About 3,500 people were reportedly detained at anti-war demonstrations in Russia today – more than 10,000 people have been detained since the war began.

At least 364 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the start of the war, the United Nations Human Rights office said – adding that the real figures were likely to be « considerably higher ».

Irpin evacuation: Family killed as they fled

We have more information about the three civilians known to have been killed while trying to flee Irpin, a town just outside Kyiv.

A highly distressing image taken by a photographer for the New York Times show three members of a family of four – a mother and two children – lying dead on the pavement, while Ukrainian soldiers try to save the life of the wounded father.

We’re not publishing the picture here due to its extremely graphic nature.

The children were a teenaged son and a daughter who appeared to be about eight years old, the newspaper reports.

The family had run from the fighting carrying a suitcase and a few backpacks and had brought their small dog with them.

They were hit by a mortar attack.

Russian forces have been firing mortar shells at an already-collapsed bridge being used by evacuating civilians, including children.

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of deliberately targeting the evacuation routes from Irpin, after a railway track was hit and damaged on Saturday.

As well as Irpin, the small towns of Hostomel and Bucha to the north-west of Kyiv have seen heavy fighting in recent days.

 World Opinions – BBC News

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