Ukraine has not reached any agreement with Russia on establishing a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the southern city of Mariupol on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshschuk said.
Russia said it would open a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where Ukrainian fighters and some civilians are holed up.
“It is important to understand that a humanitarian corridor opens by the agreement of both sides. A corridor announced unilaterally does not provide security, and therefore is not a humanitarian corridor,” Vereshchuk said on the Telegram messaging app.
Russia’s defence ministry said its troops would halt hostilities to allow civilians to leave the besieged steel plant Azovstal in Ukraine’s port city of Mariupol from 2 p.m. Moscow time (1100 GMT).
The ministry said any civilians trapped at the facility could leave in whichever direction they chose.
On Monday, Russian missile strikes on an oil refinery and power plant in Kremenchuk killed one person and wounded seven, the governor of the Poltava region said. Moscow said it had destroyed oil production facilities there.
Russia also fired rockets at two towns in the central Vinnytsia region, causing an unspecified number of deaths and injuries, regional Governor Serhiy Borzov reported.
Ukraine’s general staff described Russian shelling and assaults along most of the front in the east, including missile and bomb attacks on a huge steel works in Mariupol where the last Ukrainian defenders are holed up in a city destroyed during two months of Russian siege and bombardment.
Moscow, which describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation,” denies targeting civilians.