Ukraine Deputy PM appeals to UN for humanitarian corridor from Mariupol

Kiev, April 25 (IANS) Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereschuk has appealed to the UN for a humanitarian corridor from Mariupol after efforts to evacuate civilians from the devastated besieged south-eastern city has again collapsed.

In a televised address on Sunday, Vereschuk said the humanitarian corridor from Mariupol could not be opened up on Sunday as “Russia has not confirmed the guarantee of the ceasefire”, reports Ukrayinska Pravda.

“We are no longer asking, we are demanding that the UN ensure a ceasefire and the opening of a humanitarian corridor from Azovstal and Mariupol in general,” she said adding that the issue should be raised by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres when he visits Russia this week.

“This is what Guterres should say in Moscow if he is going to talk about peace. All other agreements will carry no weight, because the most important thing that the UN can do, and what others cannot do, is to open a humanitarian corridor. “

According to the Minister, there were 1,000 injured women and children in Azovstal currently and almost 50 people are in urgent need of professional emergency care.

Deputy Commander of Ukraine’s “Azov” Regiment, Sviatoslav Palamar also confirmed to Ukrayinska Pravda that there was no humanitarian corridor from Mariupol on Sunday, adding that “bombs fall on the city every three minutes, and the Russians are trying to storm the positions of Ukrainian defenders”.

Mariupol has been under siege since March 1.

The Ukrainian Defence Forces continue to defend part of the blocked city, including civilians who are hiding in the basements of the Azovstal plant.

The Russian army continued to strike Azovstal with bombs.