Tuesday reports from one of the Ukrainian cities hardest hit by an apparently indiscriminate Russian artillery bombardment He suggested that Russia might make good on its latest promise to allow civilians to escape. But even if the truce held in the northeastern city of Sumy and Russia outperformed its promise to allow “humanitarian corridors” for evacuations from other cities, it would be a small saving grace in a tragedy deepening by the hour.
On Tuesday, the United Nations said more than two million people had fled itIn neighboring countries since Russia launched its brutal invasion 13 days ago.
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office said Ukrainians would believe the Kremlin’s offer to allow safe passage from Sumy, the capital Kyiv and the stricken cities of Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol only when evacuations were underway. At least three previous local ceasefires collapsed, with Ukraine and Russia accusing each other of violating the truce, and reports of new violations soon emerged on Tuesday in the southern port city of Mariupol.
A local official in Sumy said evacuations were underway, but as CBS News’ chief foreign correspondent Charlie D’Agata reported, not many people had a chance to flee.
Emergency teams slammed among the rubble of an apartment building in Sumy that was destroyed by Russian air strikes during the night. They found no survivors, only lifeless bodies, including families with children. At least 20 people were killed in a single strike in Sumy alone on Monday evening, local officials said.
But even with the Russian forces besieging the major cities and the gradual advance –– Towards Kyiv, not all Ukrainians are fleeing. Dhagata says the Ukrainian Defense Forces continues a fierce resistance, and he has met civilians in the capital digging in to help defend their city.