Over 130,000 people have been evacuated via humanitarian corridors in Ukraine over the past six days, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said on Monday.
"More than 10 humanitarian corridors were put into operation in the Kiev and Lugansk Regions," the Ukrainian president said. "A total number of 5,550 people were evacuated over the past day, while over 130,000 people were evacuated in the past six days."
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for issues of reintegration on uncontrolled territories Irina Vereshchuk said on Sunday that not all of the humanitarian corridors were in operation. "Fourteen humanitarian corridors were opened today but only nine of them were used," Vereshchuk stated.
According to her, evacuation failed on Sunday in Mariupol and Berdyansk. However, she said that efforts to evacuate people from Mariupol would continue on Monday morning.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees at a ceremony in the Kremlin recognizing the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR). Putin met with DPR leader Denis Pushilin and LPR leader Leonid Pasechnik, and signed treaties with them on friendship,
cooperation and mutual aid between Russia and both republics.
President Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request from the heads of the Donbass republics, he had decided to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The
Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans to occupy Ukrainian territory.
The Russian Defense Ministry reassured earlier that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, and are limited to surgical strikes and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure, insisting that there is no threat whatsoever to the civilian population.