Ukrainian officials warned that the Russian government was not to be trusted in its announcements that they were to begin withdrawing troops, or other promises. On Thursday the Ukrainian government said Russian forces lied on yet another promise.
Russian forces blocked 45 buses that were sent to evacuate civilians from the besieged port city of Mariupol, after humanitarian corridors were promised. Only 631 people were able to escape the city, but in private cars.
The Associated Press reports that Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said late Thursday that only 12 Ukrainian buses with humanitarian aid left for Mariupol, but the Russia forces stopped the buses and seized 14 tons of food and medicine.
On Thursday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the first half-dozen shipments of assistance has been sent to Ukraine as part of President Biden’s $800 million aid package. The shipments include anti-tank weapons, stinger anti-aircraft missile systems, body armor, medical supplies and other material.
Speaking in a video address to the nation on Thursday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Ukrainians not to stop fighting and warned of Russian war tactics. Zelensky said it was heartening to see some Russian troops retreating from north of Kyiv, but stated withdrawal was just a tactic.
Zelensky said the Russian forces are escalating in the southeast, building up for new powerful attacks. Vereshchuk said approximately 45,000 Mariupol residents have been forcefully deported to Russia and areas of eastern Ukraine that are controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
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