Mariupol evacuation in war-hit Ukraine ‘failed’: Red Cross

Global humanitarian group says ‘detailed, functioning agreement’ between warring parties needed.

Mariupol evacuation in war-hit Ukraine ‘failed’: Red Cross

Evacuation of civilians in Ukraine’s embattled city of Mariupol “failed,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Sunday.

“Today’s attempt to start evacuating an estimated 200,000 people has failed,” the ICRC said on Twitter.

People are living in terror in the southeastern port city and in desperate need of safety, it warned.

“The failed attempts underscore the absence of a detailed and functioning agreement between parties to the conflict,” the global humanitarian group said.

It said parties need to agree on the details of the safe evacuation of civilians, like specific time, locations, and routes.

People need water, food, and shelter, and the aid group needs safety guarantees to provide aid for them, the ICRC said.

The humanitarian organization also said that it cannot assume the duty of being “the guarantor” of the implementation of the cease-fire agreement between Russia and Ukraine. “As a neutral and impartial humanitarian intermediary, we've been facilitating dialogue between the parties on the safe passage of civilians,” it said.

On Saturday, Ukrainian officials announced that evacuations from the cities of Mariupol and Volnovaha were stopped due to a violation of the cease-fire by Russian forces.

At least 364 civilians, including 38 children and 42 women, have been killed and 759 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war in the Eastern European country on Feb. 24, according to UN figures, with the real toll feared to be higher.

More than 1.5 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, the latest data by the UN refugee agency showed.

The Russian attacks have been met by an outcry from the international community, with the EU, UK, and US implementing a range of economic sanctions against Moscow.