Kyiv, Apr 20 (EFE).- Ukraine announced Wednesday that an approval to open a humanitarian corridor for some 6,000 civilians, including women, children and the elderly, in the besieged city of Mariupol in the south of the country.
“Considering the humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol, we are focusing efforts on this direction today. We have preliminarily agreed on a humanitarian corridor for women, children and the elderly,” Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Telegram, according to official Ukrinform agency.
In the past three days, no humanitarian corridor had been opened, either in Mariupol or other parts of eastern Ukraine due to the absence of security guarantees, said Vereshchuk.
According to sources from the mayor’s office, some 90 buses are expected to transport about 6,000 people throughout the day.
Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko, who is already outside the city, estimates that some 100,000 civilians remain in the war-torn port city, which had half a million inhabitants before the invasion began.
Russia on Wednesday gave another ultimatum to the Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal metal plant in Mariupol to lay down their surrender, after the deadline for other similar warnings expired the previous day.
The last resistance of Ukrainian troops in the city are put up in this steel plant, whose numbers are estimated to be around 2,000-2,500, apart from over a thousand civilians who have taken refuge there, according to Ukrainian sources.
An officer from the Naval Infantry’s 36th Brigade, which continues to defend the city, posted a message via Facebook, calling for international support, claiming the size of the enemy was 10 times greater and it was just a matter of days, if not hours, before the Russians took over. EFE