Conflicts & War

Evacuations of besieged Mariupol, Azovstal set to continue

Kyiv, May 2 (EFE).- The evacuation of the besieged southern Ukranian port city of Mariupol and its Azovstal steelworks, where hundreds of civilians remain trapped, was set to continue on Monday morning, the city council said on Telegram.

“There is good news. With the support of the United Nations and the (International Committee of the) Red Cross, two additional locations have been agreed today to put people in an evacuation convoy leaving Mariupol. These are the village of Mangush (in Donestk region) and the Lunacharsky ring near Berdyansk (east of Mariupol),” the council said.

Residents of these two locations are able to use their own transport to join the convoy behind the provided buses.

“If you have relatives or acquaintances there, try to contact them and provide information about a possible evacuation,” it added.

It is unknown exactly how many people are inside Azovstal, which has an underground network of bunkers and tunnels, but some reports say around 1,000 civilians and 2,000 Ukranian soldiers, while about 100,000 residents could still be blockaded in Mariupol.

On Sunday, Ukrainian authorities with the help of the UN and the ICRC evacuated about 100 civilians from the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol after multiple failures and in what Kyiv has described as the most difficult operation since the war began more than two months ago.

“Evacuation of civilians from Azovstal began. The 1st group of about 100 people is already heading to the controlled area. Tomorrow we’ll meet them in Zaporizhzhia,” President Volodomyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

The UN’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres met last week with the Russian President Vladimir Putin from whom he extracted an agreement in principle to involve the UN and the ICRC in the operation, after which he traveled to Kyiv to discuss the details with Zelenskyy. EFE


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