War Ukraine Russia LIVE: US fears Putin will launch chemical and biological attacks – Reuters

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Only 7,000 Ukrainians were able to escape the besieged cities

A total of 7,144 people were evacuated from four Ukrainian cities on Friday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a televised address, a number significantly lower than the number who managed to leave on each of the previous two days.

Zelenskiy accused Russia of refusing to allow people out of the besieged city of Mariupol and said Ukraine would try to deliver food and medicine there again on Saturday.

Nearly 40,000 people left several cities through humanitarian corridors on Thursday, in addition to the 35,000 who fled on Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities said.

Zelenskiy said residents of Chernihiv, Energodar, Hostomel and Kozarovichi managed to escape on Friday.

Authorities said earlier the situation in Mariupol was critical as Russian forces tightened their stranglehold around the Black Sea port city and the death toll in shelling and a 12-day blockade reached nearly 1,600. .

Residents of Mariupol, a strategically important peacetime city of more than 400,000 people, have been without electricity and water for more than a week.

“The Russian troops did not let our help into the city and continue to torture our people… Tomorrow we will try again, try again to send food, water and medicine,” Zelenskiy said.

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Picture:

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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