Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said that instead of an agreement on humanitarian corridors, what Ukraine got on Monday was “Russian tanks, Russian grad rockets, Russian mines”.
“They even mined the roads that were the agreed routes for taking food and medicine to the people, to the children, of Mariupol,” Mr Zelensky said in what has become a daily video address close to midnight. On Monday night he spoke from behind the ornate desk in his official office, visual proof that he remains in Kyiv.
During talks on Monday, the Russians proposed evacuation routes leading to Russia and its ally Belarus, rather than to areas of western Ukraine that remain peaceful.
“It’s just cynicism,” Mr Zelensky said. By opening a small corridor to Russia Moscow is looking only for a propaganda victory, he said.
Mr Zelensky said that on the 12th day of the war, the Ukrainian army is counter attacking and inflicting extremely painful losses on the enemy: “Battles are underway in the centre, in the north and in the south of country – Mariupol and Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Sumy, Odesa and Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr.”