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Ukrainian evacuation routes from Kyiv take civilians 'straight into arms of Russians'

IRPIN, UKRAINE - MARCH 06: Civilians evacuate the settlements during the Russian attacks on Ukraine in the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, Ukraine on March 06, 2022. Following Russia's large-scale attacks on Ukraine, more than a million people have fled the country, with hundreds of thousands crossing through Lviv on their route to Poland. (Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Civilians evacuate the settlements during the Russian attacks on Ukraine in the city of Irpin on Sunday (Getty)

"Safe corridors" meant to evacuate civilians fleeing the besieged Ukrainian cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv will lead people straight into the arms of Russians, it has emerged.

Ceasefire agreements on Saturday and Sunday failed after Vladimir Putin's forces shelled the civilians who were trying to flee to safety.

On Monday, Russia announced new "humanitarian corridors" to transport Ukrainians trapped under its bombardment.

However, maps of the evacuation routes published by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency show that civilians leaving Kharkiv and Kyiv will only be able to flee to Russia and its close ally Belarus.

Evacuations routes from the smaller cities of Mariupol and Sumy will transport civilians into Ukrainian territory.

Watch: Zelenskyy warns of 'day of judgement' after evacuation routes are targeted

Russia's defence ministry said anyone who wanted to leave Kyiv can be airlifted out, although drones would be used to monitor the evacuation.

The humanitarian corridors are being opened at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron.

A spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the move "completely immoral" and said Russia was trying to "use people's suffering to create a television picture".

"They are citizens of Ukraine, they should have the right to evacuate to the territory of Ukraine,"

UK Foreign Office minister James Cleverly called the move “nonsense” because it would take fleeing Ukrainians “into the arms of the country that is currently destroying yours”.

He told the BBC: "It appears cynical beyond belief. There is a view that Vladimir Putin believed there was a widespread desire of Ukrainians to be closer to Russia, to be more Russian. I think that has been proven to be a complete nonsense by the circumstances we are seeing.

Read more: Russia 'bombing TV towers' to cut Ukrainians off from internet and vital broadcasts

IRPIN, UKRAINE -- MARCH 6, 2022: A Ukrainian volunteer fighter helps carry a child for local residents as they evacuate on foot as Russian forces advance and continue to bombard the area with artillery, in Irpin, Ukraine, Sunday, March 6, 2022. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)
A Ukrainian volunteer fighter helps carry a child for local residents as they evacuate Irpin (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)
IRPIN, UKRAINE -- MARCH 6, 2022: Local residents evacuate as Russian forces advance and continue to bombard the town with artillery, in Irpin, Ukraine, Sunday, March 6, 2022. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)
Russian forces advanced and continued to bombard Irpin with artillery as people fled (Los Angeles Times)
IRPIN, UKRAINE -- MARCH 6, 2022: Local residents evacuate as Russian forces advance and continue to bombard the town with artillery, in Irpin, Ukraine, Sunday, March 6, 2022. (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)
Ukraine has now been under attack for 12 days (MARCUS YAM / LOS ANGELES TIMES)

“Providing evacuation routes into the arms of the country that is currently destroying yours is a nonsense.”

He added that “ultimately the most humanitarian thing the Russians could do is end this completely illegal, completely unjustified invasion of Ukraine”.

Attempts at an evacuation in Mariupol were stopped on Sunday after men, women, and children were targeted with shells as they tried to flee.

Officials said on Sunday afternoon: "For the second day in a row, a ceasefire agreement to enable the evacuation of civilians from Mariupol failed.

IRPIN, UKRAINE - MARCH 06: A family runs in front of the shelling, March 6, 2022, in Irpin, Ukraine. The ceasefire that was planned this Sunday in the Ukrainian town of Irpin to establish a humanitarian corridor has failed. The Russian army has shelled an evacuation point for civilians in the morning. The attacks of the invading troops took place at the moment when numerous residents were heading towards the place where buses and vehicles were waiting to take them away from the fighting. The United Nations estimates that by Sunday, March 6, the number of Ukrainian refugees could reach 1.5 million. This Monday, March 7, Russia and Ukraine begin their third round of talks, to find a solution to the war conflict, after the failed attempts to create humanitarian corridors with a cease-fire that, according to Ukraine, Russia did not respect. (Photo By Diego Herrera/Europa Press via Getty Images)
A family runs in front of the shelling in Irpin on Sunday, after Russians began firing despite agreeing to a ceasfire (Getty)
UKRAINE - MARCH 06: A woman cries as she hears shelling, March 6, 2022, Ukraine. The ceasefire that was planned this Sunday in the Ukrainian town of Irpin to establish a humanitarian corridor has failed. The Russian army has shelled an evacuation point for civilians in the morning. The attacks of the invading troops took place at the moment when numerous residents were heading towards the place where buses and vehicles were waiting to take them away from the fighting. The United Nations estimates that by Sunday, March 6, the number of Ukrainian refugees could reach 1.5 million. This Monday, March 7, Russia and Ukraine begin their third round of talks, to find a solution to the war conflict, after the failed attempts to create humanitarian corridors with a cease-fire that, according to Ukraine, Russia did not respect. (Photo By Diego Herrera/Europa Press via Getty Images)
A woman cries as she hears shelling on Sunday (Getty)

"The ceasefire was scheduled between 10am and 9pm local time, but the agreement was violated within hours of its planned implementation."

Zelenskyy has also vowed Ukraine will "not forget" the killing of civilians as they tried to leave their homes.

International attention has focused on Irpin, a Kyiv suburb where residents have been scrambling across a river to flee Russian bombardment.

Eight people were killed - including two children from the same family - Ukrainian authorities said, after Russian shells hit a damaged bridge they were attempting to cross.

Speaking in a late-night Sunday address to mark the Orthodox Christian holiday of "Forgiveness Sunday", Zelenskyy spoke of a family of four who were among eight killed while trying to flee Irpin on Sunday.

He told Ukrainians: "We will not forgive the destroyed houses. We will not forgive the missile that our air defence shot down over Okhmatdyt today.

TOPSHOT - Evacuees cross a destroyed bridge as they flee the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, on March 7, 2022. - Ukraine dismissed Moscow's offer to set up humanitarian corridors from several bombarded cities on Monday after it emerged some routes would lead refugees into Russia or Belarus. The Russian proposal of safe passage from Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol and Sumy had come after terrified Ukrainian civilians came under fire in previous ceasefire attempts. (Photo by Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP) (Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)
International attention has focused on Irpin, a Kyiv suburb where residents have been scrambling across a river to flee Russian bombardment. (Getty)
IRPIN, UKRAINE - MARCH 06: Views from vicinity of the bridge in the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv, blasts a few meters away during civilians' evacuation while ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine, in Irpin, Ukraine on March 06, 2022. Following Russia's large-scale attacks on Ukraine, more than a million people have fled the country, with hundreds of thousands crossing through Lviv on their route to Poland. (Photo by Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Bombs go off blasts a few meters away during civilians' evacuation while ongoing Russian attacks in Irpin. (Getty)

"And more than five hundred other such missiles that hit our land in Ukraine, our people, our children.

"We will not forgive the shooting of unarmed people. Destruction of our infrastructure.

"We cannot forgive the hundreds upon hundreds of victims. Nor the thousands upon thousands who have suffered.

"God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.

"And instead of forgiveness, there will be a day of judgement."