Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has ordered that humanitarian corridors be created to help civilians flee fighting between government forces and pro-Russia militants in the east.
Scores of soldiers, separatists, and civilians have been killed. Some locals are already leaving conflict zones like Slavyansk. But many others are staying put, according to local resident Vladimir.
“Some people can’t leave the house…no-one has had any business here for a while. But it’s my life,” he said.
“I don’t want to go anywhere and half of the people here will not leave. And their corridors won’t help.”
Moscow denies fomenting the unrest and allowing mercenaries from Russia to cross the long border into Ukraine with consignments of arms to support the rebels.
But that is exactly what Poland accused Russia of doing, during trilateral talks in St Petersburg where the two countries’ foreign ministers were joined by their German counterpart.
Russia’s Sergei Lavrov welcomes the creation of corridors but his key demand is for an immediate ceasefire.