After nine days of war, Russian forces have not yet been able to conquer the great cities of Ukraine. Mariupol is under blockade, the mayor announced. In Chernivov, where a huge explosion took place on Friday night, sirens are heard, street fights are taking place in Sumi, and Kiev is still under threat from a huge column of military vehicles heading towards the city.
At 9:00 Romanian time, a ceasefire came into force for the evacuation of civilians from the cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha.
Civilians will be allowed to leave the port city of Mariupol, in the south of Ukraine, on Saturday, between 12:00 and 17:00, Moscow time (11: 00-16: 00, Romanian time), the Russian news agency reported RIA, which quoted the local authorities, reports Reuters.
Mariupol City Hall has announced that the evacuation of the civilian population will begin at 11:00 local time (11:00 Romanian time). The evacuation corridor is in the direction of the city of Zaporozhye, where the nuclear power plant attacked by Russian forces is located. Locals can leave by bus or personal car. It will be carried out by municipal buses from three points in the city and by private cars, which must strictly follow a certain predetermined route, the mayor’s office said on its Telegram account. Mariupol has a population of 440,000 and Volnovakha has a population of 21,000, according to Ukrainian media.
However, around noon, Ukraine accused Russian of not observing the ceasefire and postponed the evacuation of the civilians from Mariupol.
“Urgent! The evacuation of the civilian population from Mariupol is postponed! Because the Russians do not respect the ceasefire regime and continue bombing Mariupol and its surroundings, the evacuation of the population has been postponed, for security reasons “, posted on Twitter the governor of the Donetsk region, Pavel Kirilenko.
Russian troops are heading to Ukraine’s second largest nuclear power plant.
Russian troops are approaching the Yushnukkrainsk nuclear power plant in the Mikolaiv region of southern Ukraine, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced on Friday. Yushnukrainsk is the second largest nuclear facility in Ukraine after Zaporozhye, the plant attacked and captured by Russian forces on Friday. “Russian forces are now 30 kilometers away and continue to approach Ukraine’s second largest nuclear facility,” she said, without naming the plant.
Two journalists were shot
A team of British journalists from Sky News was caught in an ambush, two of them being wounded by bullets. Correspondent Stuart Ramsay in the back, and operator Richie Mockler was shot several times in the armor he was wearing. The Sky News team was evacuated back to the UK. The five-member team was in the car during the attack. Journalists say they learned from the Ukrainians that they were being attacked by Russian fighters in reconnaissance.
A huge explosion that took place last night was filmed in the city of Chernivov. According to local authorities, the death toll among civilians surged to 47.
Zelensky says he didn’t leave Kyiv, slams NATO on denying no-fly zone
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a video on his Instagram account announcing that he is still in Kyiv and has not left the city. Zelensky on Friday criticized NATO’s “deliberate” decision not to create a no-fly zone in Ukraine to protect the country from Russian airstrikes.
“Today, the leadership of the Alliance gave the green light to continue the bombing of Ukrainian cities and towns, refusing to create an air exclusion zone,” President Zelenski said in a video released by the Ukrainian presidency late on Friday night.
NATO foreign ministers, who attended a special meeting in Brussels on Friday on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, spoke out against the creation of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, requested by Kyiv.
CNN stops broadcasting in Russia
CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia after Moscow adopts a new law that could send to prison anyone who spreads what Moscow considers to be fake news.
“CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia as we continue to assess the situation and our next steps forward,” a spokesman for the US television channel was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The decision comes after the BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corp also suspended their broadcasts in Russia following the adoption of this law.
Russian officials say Russia’s enemies, such as the United States and its Western allies, are spreading false information in order to sow discord among the Russian people.
Russian lawmakers on Friday passed amendments to the Criminal Code that make the spread of false information a crime punishable by fines or imprisonment. There are also fines for anyone seeking sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Punishments can go up to 15 years in prison for disseminating information aimed at “discrediting” the armed forces. The law was enacted on Friday night by President Vladimir Putin.
Twitter, Facebook banned in Russia
On other hand, Russia’s communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, also ordered access to Russia’s Twitter and Facebook networks on Friday. According to the BBC, YouTube no longer works for users in Russia.
For its part, the Russian independent publication Novaia Gazeta, whose editor-in-chief is the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov, announced on Friday night that it is removing some content related to Ukraine to avoid sanctions, AFP reports.