Kyiv slams Moscow’s proposal to evacuate civilians to Russia and Belarus as ‘immoral’, demands other exit routes.
Destruction and misery’ in central Kharkiv
Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford has entered Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, where he witnessed “scenes of utter devastation” in the centre of the city following shelling by Russian forces.
“I am absolutely shocked by what we have seen … this is what the power of Russian bombing can do to civilian areas,” Stratford said from the scene, where an enormous Russian shell exploded several days ago.
He described the immediate area as “completely devastated”, noting there were buildings still on fire and that a nearby church had been badly damaged, with all of its windows blown out.
“The people here cannot in any way wrap their heads around how the leader of a civilised country like Russia could do this to a city like Kharkiv,” Stratford said.
“Some of the people we spoke to are literally walking around in a daze, unable to comprehend what has just happened to them … and their beloved city.
“And now look at it. It has. It is an absolutely shocking scene of destruction and misery.”
- Delegations from Ukraine and Russia are holding a third round of talks.
- Moscow has announced a temporary ceasefire and a plan to evacuate Ukrainians from several cities, mainly to Russia and Belarus.
- Kyiv has rejected the proposal as “immoral” and said Ukrainian citizens should be allowed to evacuate to other parts of Ukraine.
- Previous ceasefire attempts in the southeastern port city of Mariupol collapsed over the weekend.
- Russia’s top diplomat will reportedly meet with his Ukrainian counterpart on Thursday in Turkey.
- The UN has warned that Russia’s invasion has triggered the fasting-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.