Mariupol evacuation fails as 2nd ceasefire agreement collapses

Statue in Mariupol
(Image credit: ALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP via Getty Images)

A second attempt to establish a temporary ceasefire to give civilians in the embattled Ukrainian city of Mariupol a chance to evacuate failed on Sunday as Ukrainian government sources accused Russian troops of continuing to shell the city, CNBC reports.

The Mariupol City Council said earlier that day that Russian forces encircling the city had agreed to stop firing at 10 a.m. local time.

The two sides agreed to a similar ceasefire for Saturday after initially agreeing to the idea on Thursday, but the proposed "humanitarian corridors" in Mariupol and nearby Volnovakha never materialized.

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The Moscow Times reported Sunday that, during a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Mariupol ceasefires collapsed because "Ukrainian nationalists" would not allow civilians to leave the city and that Ukrainian troops defending the city requested the ceasefire "only to build up forces and means in their positions."

Foreign policy analyst Clint Ehrlich shared video on Twitter that he said corroborated Russian claims that soldiers from Ukraine's far-right Azov Battalion were forcing civilians to remain in Mariupol to be used as human shields, though Ehrlich also admitted he had trouble making out what the soldier in the video was saying. Several Twitter users replied, saying the soldier told the crying woman in the video that it was not safe to leave the city because Russian forces were still firing.

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One Mariupol resident told the BBC on Saturday that there "are many dead bodies lying in the streets and no one can carry them." He also said the city's residents are running low on food and clean water.

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