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Ukraine deputy PM rejects evacuation corridors to Russia, Belarus: ‘Not an acceptable option’

A family flees in a car as Russian troops take positions in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A family flees in a car as Russian troops take positions in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Ukraine rejects Moscow’s offer of evacuation corridors to Russia and Belarus, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says.

“This is not an acceptable option,” she says, after Russia proposed safe passage for civilians from Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Sumy.

The civilians “aren’t going to go to Belarus and then take a plane to Russia.”

The Russian army said earlier it was opening humanitarian corridors from the four Ukrainian cities.

Fighting was still ongoing Monday in the four — the capital Kyiv, the second-largest city Kharkhiv in the east, the southeastern port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, and Sumy, near the eastern border with Russia.

But the fact the corridors led into Russia or its ally Belarus raised questions over the safety of those who might use them.

Two recent attempts to allow thousands of civilians to leave the besieged city of Mariupol have ended in disaster, with civilians under fire and both sides accusing each other of violations.

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