Russia-Ukraine crisis updates: New ceasefire in place in Ukraine's port city Mariupol to attempt civilian evacuation
Ukrainian officials said Russian artillery fire and airstrikes had prevented residents from leaving before the agreed-to evacuations got underway
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Saturday that Ukrainian statehood is in jeopardy and likened the West's sanctions on Russia to "declaring war," while a promised ceasefire in the besieged port city of Mariupol collapsed amid scenes of terror. With the Kremlin's rhetoric growing fiercer and a reprieve from fighting dissolving, Russian troops continued to shell encircled cities and the number of Ukrainians forced from their country grew to 1.4 million.
By Saturday night Russian forces had intensified their shelling of Mariupol while dropping powerful bombs on residential areas of Chernihiv, a city north of Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said. Ten days after Russian forces invaded, the struggle to enforce the temporary cease-fires in Mariupol and the eastern city of Volnovakha showed the fragility of efforts to stop the fighting across Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials said Russian artillery fire and airstrikes had prevented residents from leaving before the agreed-to evacuations got underway. Putin accused Ukraine of sabotaging the effort.
The third round of talks between Russia and Ukraine will take place Monday, according to Davyd Arakhamia, a member of the Ukrainian delegation. He gave no additional details, including where they would take place.
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