Ukraine, fleeing Irpin: 'Civilians in the crosshairs, the situation is getting worse'

The testimony of a 21-year-old man fleeing Irpin, a town on the outskirts of Kiev: “I’m joining the Red Cross, in other places I can help”

“I escaped from Irpin because the situation there has worsened and there are other places where I can lend a hand; now I’m on my way to Zhytomyr, where there is also a humanitarian emergency, to join the Red Cross”

Speaking from one of the regions of Ukraine where the bombing is most intense is a 21-year-old man.

In recent days he had responded from Irpin, the town where he was studying, considered a key passage for the columns of the Russian army to reach Kiev, the capital, about 25 kilometres to the south-east.

Eight days ago the boy was reporting on the resistance of the Ukrainian forces, but the picture seems to have changed due to increased pressure from the Russian offensive.

Photographs taken in Irpin yesterday showed the lifeless bodies of a mother and her two children, trolleys tipped over in the street next to open hands.

The father, also hit by a mortar shell, is reported to have died later despite a rescue attempt by Ukrainian soldiers.

The boy says he fled Irpin three days ago

The situation in Zhytomyr is also very difficult, but at least there I would have the chance to help with the Red Cross,” the young man reports.

I hope to be able to reach the city.

In Zhytomyr, bombings last week also hit the city centre and in particular a public school, number 25, located near the seat of the municipality.

According to sources on the ground, that raid did not cause casualties.

Today, as on Saturday and yesterday, a cease-fire was announced to allow civilians to leave some of the towns under siege.

The ceasefire, which would be in force from eight o’clock Italian time, should allow transfers from Kiev, in the north-central part of the country, from Kharkiv, in the north-east, and from Mariupol, on the banks of the Azov Sea.

Yesterday again, there were reports of violations and new bombings of these “humanitarian corridors”.

According to Dominik Stillhart, director of local operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross, negotiations with Ukrainian and Russian representatives have been going on “for days” but the terms of the agreement remain “imprecise” and mostly still only “in principle”.

He pointed out that yesterday humanitarian workers had tried to get away from Mariupol only to discover that the route indicated as safe had been undermined.

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Agenzia Dire

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