Ukraine crisis Live: Russians Forces Widen Offensive after Ukraine Partial Ceasefire collapses
The Russian Defense Ministry had said in a statement that it agreed on evacuation routes with Ukrainian forces to allow civilians to leave Mariupol and Volnovakha.
Russia’s defence ministry said late on Saturday that it has resumed “offensive actions” in Ukraine after announcing a ceasefire earlier in the day to allow residents of two besieged cities to evacuate. The ministry also said that Russian forces in a wide offensive in Ukraine have taken several towns and shot down four Ukrainian Su-27 Jets, Interfax news agency reported. Sources said that since the start of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine on February 24, Russian forces have destroyed 69 aircraft on the ground and 21 in the air.
Earlier on Saturday, the Russian defense ministry had said in a statement that it had agreed on evacuation routes with Ukrainian forces to allow civilians to leave the strategic port of Mariupol in the southeast and the eastern town of Volnovakha “from 10 am Moscow time” (8 am GMT.) But the ceasefire collapsed later, with the Russian defence ministry saying that the offensive has resumed.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that Moscow would consider any third-party declaration of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as “participation in the armed conflict”. Speaking at a meeting with female pilots on Saturday, Putin said Russia would view “any move in this direction” as an intervention that “will pose a threat to our service members”. “That very second, we will view them as participants of the military conflict, and it would not matter what members they are,” the Russian president said.