mariupol: 100 civilians evacuated from Mariupol steel plant: Zelenskyy

Civilians were evacuated on Sunday from the bunkers of Mariupol’s Azovstal steel works after the UN and the International Red Cross led a deal to ease the ordeal of the most destructive siege of the war in Ukraine. Russian forces pummelled the port city for nearly two months, turning Mariupol into a wasteland. President Zelensky said that about 100 civilians were being evacuated from the Azovstal factory and are heading to a “controlled area.” “Tomorrow we’ll meet them in Zaporizhzhia,” he wrote on Twitter. He said that they were working with the UN and other international groups to evacuate more people.
The city is under Russian control but some fighters and civilians have sheltered underground in the Azovstal works — a vast Soviet-era plant founded under Josef Stalin and designed with a labyrinth of bunkers and tunnels to withstand attack. The UN later said that an operation to evacuate people from the steel works had been under way since Friday. UN spokesperson Saviano Abreu said: “At this point, and as the operations are under way, we will not share further details,” he said.
The convoy had travelled 230km to reach the steel works, the ICRC said. A Reuters pho tographer saw civilians arriving in the village of Bezimenne in an area of Donetsk under the control of Russia-backed separatists around 30 km east of Mariupol. Children were among those evacuated from the plant . “The operation is (still) ongoing,” deputy PM Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video address. Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak suggested the evacuations could go further than the civilians. “This is just the first step, and we will continue to take our civilians & troops out of Mariupol,” he wrote on Telegram.

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