Corridors for civilians to leave Mariupol set up with imminent attack expected

Ukraine/Russia conflict; Europe
A pregnant woman and children sit on a bench in the improvised bomb shelter in a sports centre, which can accommodate up to 2000 people, in Mariupol, Ukraine

The separatist forces in Donetsk say they have established two corridors for the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol, an indication that a large attack on the key Azov Sea port could be imminent.

Eduard Basurin, a spokesman for the separatists’ military, said civilian safety of movement is guaranteed until Wednesday in the corridors.

Mariupol, an industrial centre, is seen as a key target for Russian forces for its economic value and its location.

Its capture would help Russia establish a land corridor between Crimea and the Russian mainland.

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