International News

Putin’s forces ‘retreating’ after suffering ‘irreversible losses’

More than 8,000 people were evacuated from conflict zones on Monday, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk has said, including about 3,000 from the embattled southern port city of Mariupol. 

The latest efforts by Ukrainian forces come as the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, hailed those who have fought back against Russia.

“There is no need to organize resistance,” he said in a video address on Monday night. “Resistance for Ukrainians is part of their soul.”

Russian shelling of a humanitarian corridor wounded four children on a route leading out of Mariupol, he added.

Mariupol had a prewar population of about 430,000. Around a quarter were believed to have left in the opening days of the war, and tens of thousands escaped over the past week by way of the humanitarian corridors. Other attempts have been thwarted by the fighting, leaving many trapped.

Russia’s invasion has driven nearly 3.5 million people from Ukraine entirely, according to the United Nations, with millions more internally displaced.

The UN has confirmed over 900 civilian deaths but said the real toll is probably much higher. Estimates of Russian deaths vary, but even conservative figures are in the low thousands.

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