Ukraine And Russia Agree To Temporary Cease-Fire In Some Areas For Civilian Evacuation

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Ukraine and Russia say they have agreed to temporary local cease-fires to create “humanitarian corridors” so civilians can be evacuated and food and medicine can be delivered.

But the cease-fires would not apply everywhere, said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak — and logistical details will still need to be agreed upon “in the nearest time.”

The development follows a second round of talks on Thursday afternoon, as local leaders warned about significant impacts to Ukrainian cities and as a mass exodus continues. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine, according to data from the United Nations refugee agency — an exodus that is set to become Europe’s worst humanitarian crisis this century.

Russian troops seized a key government building in the Black Sea port of Kherson, a Ukrainian governor said Thursday, as Moscow tightened its grip on Ukraine’s southern coastline, slashing access to shipping hubs with a flurry of bombardments. A local journalist in Kherson told The Washington Post that no Ukrainian government forces have been seen in the city center since early Wednesday. But Ukraine’s Defense Ministry denied that Kherson was under Moscow’s control.

The mayor of Mariupol, another seaside hub, said hours-long shelling has cut off water, power, and food supplies. Estimating casualties is difficult, another local official said: “We cannot collect all the bodies, and we cannot count.”

Still, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted during a meeting with his security council that military operations in Ukraine are unfolding “according to plan,” despite reports that his forces have been plagued by low morale and botched planning.

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