Ukraine agreed on Wednesday to a new deal with Russia to open several humanitarian corridors that can be used to evacuate refugees, officials said as Russia kept up attacks across the country.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a Facebook post that nine humanitarian routes will open in the Kyiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk regions.
There was no mention of a corridor out of Mariupol, a southern port city that has been under constant Russian attack and where many civilians have been trapped.
Vereshchuk said that people in Mariupol, however, could find transportation out of the area in nearby Berdyansk.
Meanwhile, Russian troops kept up shelling in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Wednesday and attempted to tighten their grip on Mariupol, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that at least 100,000 people are still trapped.
Zelensky said that he and officials are doing “everything we can to free our people,” according to The Washington Post.
Britain’s defense ministry said that Russian forces are likely reorganizing now before resuming a large-scale offensive to advance from Kharkiv in the north and Mariupol in the south.
Russia’s ground attack is being aided by almost two dozen warships in the Black Sea that are firing cruise missiles into Ukraine off the Crimea coast, according to U.S. officials. NATO officials said the Belarusian military is now taking steps to enter the war to benefit Russia and could soon send troops into Ukraine.
The governor of the Luhansk region, in eastern Ukraine, also said Wednesday that Russia has agreed to a new local cease-fire to allow trapped civilians to leave. The governor, Serhiy Haidai, said in a post to Telegram that the truce would begin Wednesday morning.