Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Sunday said that Kyiv had agreed the use of nine humanitarian corridors to help people to escape heavy fighting in the east of the country, including in private cars from Mariupol.
"All the routes for the humanitarian corridors in the Luhansk region will work as long as there is a ceasefire by the occupying Russian troops," Vereshchuk said in a statement on her Telegram channel, referring to separatist-controlled Luhansk.
This came as Ukrainian military said Russia has been beefing up its forces and trying to probe Ukrainian defenses.
The Ukrainian military command affirmed Sunday that the Russian troops have continued attempts to break Ukrainian defenses near Izyum, southeast of Kharkiv.
It reported that Russia was sending reinforcements to Izyum while continuing the shelling of Kharkiv.
The military added that the Russians also continued their attempts to take control of Mariupol, the Sea of Azov port that has been besieged by Russian forces for nearly 1 ½ months, The Associated Press reported.
After Russia’s attempt to capture Kyiv and other big cities in northeastern Ukraine quickly failed, Ukrainian and Western officials expect Moscow to launch a new offensive in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists have fought Ukrainian forces for eight years.
According to AFP, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called on the West to follow the UK in providing military aid to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia during a visit by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kyiv.
For his part, Johnson told Zelensky that Britain would provide the country with 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems.
The aid was in addition to 100 million pounds' ($130 million) worth of high-grade military equipment announced on Friday, Downing Street said.