The Russian defence ministry will declare a ceasefire on Friday and open humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of Ukrainians from five cities, the RIA and Interfax news agencies reported on Thursday.
The agencies quoted Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre, as saying people could either travel to Russia or other cities in Ukraine.
“From 10:00 am Moscow time (0700 GMT) on March 11, 2022, the Russian Federation will declare a ‘regime of silence’ and is ready to provide humanitarian corridors,” Interfax said, citing a statement from Mizintsev.
The five cities are Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Mariupol and Chernihiv.
Ukrainian officials complain that Russians have broken the terms of previous agreements while Moscow accuses Ukrainian forces of disrupting the operations.
Not a single civilian was able to leave Mariupol on Thursday as Russian forces failed to respect a temporary ceasefire to allow evacuations, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on national television.
RIA quoted officials as saying the Ukrainian side would have to provide lists of people and vehicle registration numbers before the corridors were opened.
Talks between Ukraine and Russia’s foreign ministers on Thursday failed to bring any respite in the two-week-old conflict as hundreds of thousands of civilians remained trapped in Ukrainian cities sheltering from Russian air raids and shelling.