Kyiv, May 1 (EFE).- The evacuation of civilians from the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol was underway on Sunday, municipal authorities of the port city reported.
Dozens of civilians, including women and children, have remained holed up in the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
“Officially. Today it is possible to evacuate civilians from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia,” the city council posted on Telegram.
Authorities told evacuees to gather at 16:00 (13:00 GMT) in a city mall.
The evacuation was later confirmed by United Nations spokesperson Jens Laerke, who said the operation had been conducted with the Red Cross.
The Russian defense ministry announced on Saturday that 46 civilians were evacuated from residential buildings adjacent to Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant.
“On April 30, as a result of the establishment of a truce and the opening of a humanitarian corridor, two groups of civilians left the residential buildings adjacent to the territory of the Azovstal steel plant,” it said on Telegram.
A further 40 civilians were evacuated from the Azovstal factory on Sunday, Russian state-run TASS and RIA Nóvosti news agencies reported.
The evacuees include 18 men, 14 women and eight children, according to RIA Nóvosti.
The process was monitored by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN personnel, according to the same source.
The mayor of Mariupol Vadim Boychenko warned on 24 April that over 100,000 people were trapped in besieged Mariupol.
Some 1,000 Ukrainian civilians and soldiers remain trapped at the Azovstal plant, including some 600 wounded people.EFE