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Russia declares partial cease-fire in Ukraine

By Max Burman and Phil Helsel, NBC News

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Russia announces limited cease-fire to let civilians leave two besieged Ukrainian cities.

KYIV/MOSCOW – Russia said Saturday it was observing a temporary cease-fire in the key Ukrainian port city Mariupol, which it has besieged for days, to allow the creation of humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians.

The cease-fire went into effect at 2 a.m. E.T. and will cover both Mariupol and the smaller nearby city Volnovakha, Russia’s ministry of defense said.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said on Twitter that the evacuation corridors were being prepared and that a cease-fire was in effect in those areas. Mariupol’s city council said evacuations would begin at 4 a.m. ET and last until the end of the cease-fire at 9 a.m. ET.

The move comes after a second round of talks between the two countries earlier this week produced an agreement on the issue, though no progress on a broader cease-fire or end to Moscow’s attack on its democratic neighbor.

This article was originally published on NBC News.

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