Almost 500 civilians are evacuated from the city of Mariupol

A total of “almost 500 civilians” were able to be evacuated in recent days from the city of Mariupol, besieged and bombed by the russian troopsUkrainian authorities reported on Friday, specifying that the evacuations were continuing.

“We have managed to evacuate almost 500 civilians,” the head of the presidential administration Andrii Yermak said on Telegram.

Ukraine would continue to do everything possible to save all civilians and military” blocked at the Azovstal steelworks, he guaranteed.

The UN-sponsored evacuations began last weekend and will continue on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk told AFP.

Azovstal is a huge metallurgical plant full of underground passageways where the last fighters resisting Russian forces have been entrenched for weeks in this city in the south of the Donbas region, key to Russian ambitions in Ukraine.

The UN, together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), announced on Thursday that it had sent a new convoy to Azovstal, where there are some 200 civilians and several hundred soldiers, some of them wounded.

“Today (Friday) we are concentrating on Azovstal,” Vereshchuk said. “The operation is starting right now. Let’s pray for its success,” he added.

The person in charge had affirmed hours before that the inhabitants of Mariúpol were called to concentrate at 10:00 GMT in front of a shopping center in the city to be evacuated.


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