Russia rejects calls for ceasefire in Ukraine

Russia rejects calls for ceasefire in Ukraine

Russia rejected calls for a cease-fire to allow for civilian evacuations in Ukraine on Tuesday, saying that requests to pause the fighting were not sincere and would only provide time to arm Ukrainian fighters.

The rejection came just hours after the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine called for a four-day cease-fire to allow evacuations in battle zones and safe corridors to bring in food and medicine.

Civilians, including children, are trapped in the eastern Ukraine region of Donbas, where Russia has begun a new and more fierce offensive and the devastated port city of Mariupol, where Ukrainian defenders are making a last stand from the bunkers of a steel complex.

Russia's deputy U.N. ambassador told the Security Council that calls for humanitarian cease-fires were insincere and in practice they merely point to an aspiration to provide Kyiv nationalists breathing room to regroup and receive more drones, more antitank missiles and more MANPADS. He referred to man-portable air defense systems, which are essentially highly mobile surface-to-air missiles.