Kyiv, May 4 (EFE).- Ukraine’s president said his government is doing “everything” it can to evacuate people from the besieged city of Mariupol and the Azovstal steel plant despite “massive strikes” by Russian troops in the area.
In his nightly video address Tuesday posted on the presidential website, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the government had managed to evacuate 156 people from the city, located along the Sea of Azov.
The president thanked all those involved in the evacuation operations and promised the government “will continue to do everything to get all our people out of Mariupol and Azovstal.”
“It’s difficult. But we need everyone who stays there: civilians and military. There was not a day when we did not address this issue, when our people did not try to solve this issue,” he added.
The Ukrainian president said that despite achieving an almost three-day ceasefire to allow evacuations, Russian troops were ”not adhering to the agreements.”
“They continue massive strikes at Azovstal. They are trying to storm the complex. But I have been told many times that no one can be saved. That it is impossible,” he said.
“And today 156 people are in Zaporizhzhia. This is not a victory yet, but this is already a result. And I believe that there is a chance to save our other people,” he added.
In another message on his Telegram account, he posted several photographs showing the destruction of civilian infrastructure caused in the country by continuous bombing by the Russian army, which invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
“The whole free world united so that no one justifies Nazism, kills children or destroys peaceful cities as Russia does,” Zelensky said in the message accompanying the photos.
The Ukrainian government established four collection points for citizens in Mariupol for Wednesday, to try to evacuate those who still remain in the city.
Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukrainian deputy prime minister, anTounced the establishment of these collection points for civilians on social network Telegram, adding that their evacuation would take place “if the security situation allows it.”
This “Mariupol humanitarian operation,” as the minister called it, would transfer the evacuees to the Ukrainian-controlled area of Zaporizhia, north of Mariupol. EFE