Petro Poroshenko Orders Humanitarian Corridors in East Ukraine; Slaviansk 'Mayor' Ousted, Arrested

Petro Poroshenko Orders Humanitarian Corridors in East Ukraine; Slaviansk 'Mayor' Ousted, Arrested

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko wants humanitarian corridors in the east for the civilians to flee the ongoing violence.

From the BBC:

On Tuesday his office clarified this further, saying in a statement that “to avoid new victims in the zone of the anti-terrorist operation, the president has ordered the responsible ministers to bring about all necessary conditions for civilians who want to leave”.

The government has also been ordered to provide transport, food and medical supplies for local officials to be able to handle the expected inflow of displaced people into other areas of Ukraine.

The move to create these corridors may allay concerns from human rights groups about Kiev’s use of tanks and air power to suppress the pro-Russian militia.

On Monday, Poroshenko said the fighting must end this week. Slaviansk and Luhansk have seen the majority of the violence in the past week. One soldier told the AFP a rebel attack on the Luhansk airport was the worst attack they have seen. The water was turned off in Slaviansk due to a broken pipeline. No one can reach the pipeline because of the fighting and the city is still without running water. The families that do not leave Slaviansk seek shelter in their basements and do not leave the house in fears of being hit.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was pleased to hear Poroshenko’s announcement. However, Ukraine will not fulfill Russia’s request to allow Moscow to send aid to the east. Kiev fears Russia will use this outlet to send in arms and people to make the situation worse. On May 25, it was revealed Chechens from Russia were in Donetsk and they all claimed their leader, who is very friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, sent them.

According to social media reports, Vyacheclav Ponomaryov, self-proclaimed mayor of Slaviansk, was ousted and arrested on Tuesday. Kremlin-friendly outlet LifeNews reported it first. The Donetsk People’s Republic denies the report.