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Temporary cease-fire for evacuation of civilians begins in Ukraine

A temporary cease-fire between Russian and Ukrainian forces started on Wednesday for the evacuation of civilians from five major cities in Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the partial truce took effect in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernigiv, Sumi, and Mariupol as of 10 a.m. Moscow time (0700GMT).

Russian and Ukrainian delegations held a third round of negotiations in the Belarusian city of Brest on Monday, concluding with “small positive” developments regarding humanitarian corridors, according to a Ukrainian official.

Wednesday’s partial truce followed a similar halt in hostilities Tuesday for the same five cities.

Accusations of cease-fire violations have plagued some evacuation efforts so far.

Russia's war on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24, has drawn international condemnation, led to financial sanctions on Moscow, and spurred an exodus of global firms from Russia.

At least 474 civilians have been killed and 861 injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, according to the UN, which noted that conditions on the ground make it difficult to verify the true number.

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