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Russia claims it will allow civilians to flee their homes

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The Russian Defense Ministry claims it will stop firing at 10 a.m. local time Monday (2 a.m ET) to allow civilians to flee their homes in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy and Mariupol, despite repeatedly breaching previous agreements, according to CNN.

A first effort of ceasing fire and opening evacuation routes in Mariupol and Volnovakha failed on Saturday, with Ukrainian authorities putting evacuations on hold citing repeated Russian violations of the ceasefire.

Russia claimed its forces had resumed their offensive in Mariupol and Volnovakha due to “unwillingness of the Ukrainian side.”

A second attempt was dashed within hours Sunday, with Ukrainian authorities saying Russian forces were regrouping their forces and resuming heavy shelling of Mariupol.

Monday marks the third attempt.

In a statement Monday, the ministry said the decision comes “at the personal request” of French President Emmanuel Macron, and that the relevant details had been communicated to international bodies including the United Nations.

On Sunday, a Russian military strike hit an evacuation crossing point in a Kyiv suburb, killing a family with two children and several other civilians fleeing their homes, according to the city’s mayor.

Two mortar or artillery shells hit the checkpoint in the suburb of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, Ukrainian authorities said. International media filming at the checkpoint reported that a shell landed as a stream of civilians was coming through.

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SourceCNN
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