After an initial group of 25 women and children, a second group of civilians is said to have left the Azovstal plant in Mariupol last night, where they had been hiding for weeks of Russian aggression. This was stated by the Russian Defense Minister.
The maze of tunnels under the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol has for weeks now been a haven for an unknown number of Ukrainians, trying to reach safety while the Russian army bombs their city in an attempt to capture it. The United Nations is in talks with Russia on a temporary ceasefire around the Azovstal plant, which will allow the evacuation of trapped civilians. In recent weeks, several attempts to establish a humanitarian corridor outside the city have failed. Now the commander of the Ukrainian Azov Regiment says in a video clip on Telegram which the New York Times reportedOn Saturday, 25 women and children were evacuated from the factory.
The Russian Defense Ministry said a second group of civilians left the factory in the aftermath – bringing the total to nearly 50 evacuees. A second group of about 21 people was said to have been taken to Bizimeny last night, halfway between Mariupol and the Russian border. The Russian authorities said that “all citizens received housing, food and necessary medical aid”, and did not say where the first group had been transferred.
Svyatoslav Palamar, commander of Azov, said: New York times He hopes that the women and children of that first group that were evacuated will be taken to Zaporizhzhya, a city northwest of Mariupol, which is still in Ukrainian hands. Palamar also said that if “the Russians don’t start shooting again,” the evacuations would continue yesterday and today.
Several videos have been circulating from the Azovstal plant in recent days, which are said to show the horrific conditions in which young children, women and men are trying to survive, as their food supply dwindles day by day. “We have been ordered to defend the city, so we will continue to do so,” Commander Palamar said late last week. In one of these videos†
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