President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced the beginning of the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal in besieged Mariupol, the first group of about 100 people is already heading to the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government.
“The evacuation of civilians from Azovstal has begun. The first group of about 100 people is already heading to the controlled area. We will meet them tomorrow in Zaporozhye. Thank you to our team! Currently, they, together with UN representatives, are working on the evacuation of other citizens from the plant,” – Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
In turn, the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the talks with Russia, the head of the parliamentary faction “Servant of the People” David Arahamiya stressed that today was the heaviest operation since the war, among those evacuated from “Azovstal” – women, children and the elderly.
“Today, thanks to the efforts of the Office of the President of Ukraine, with the support of the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross together with the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk conducted the most difficult operation since the war. Two weeks ago, it seemed impossible. A week ago – unlikely,” – he wrote in his Telegram channel.
According to him, the partial evacuation of civilians from Azovstal was successful.
“More than 100 Ukrainians, including children, women and the elderly, are finally safe. There is still a lot of work and a lot of people ahead. However, Ukraine has once again proved that it does not leave its citizens in trouble. Even if it’s hell,” – said Arahamiya.
Information about the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal was also confirmed by a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross in a comment to CNN.
It will be recalled that some civilians have been hiding at Azovstal since February 25. The territory of the plant was under constant fire, as a result of which people did not go outside. Along with civilians, the Ukrainian military is also at the plant, defending the city.
Russia has already destroyed the military hospital on Azovstal with shelling. The situation in the bunkers of the plant, where several hundred civilians and military personnel are staying, has crossed the line of a humanitarian catastrophe.
This first group of Ukrainian civilians arrived in Zaporozhye on May 3, who on May 1 managed to leave the blocked Azovstal plant in Mariupol through a humanitarian corridor. Before the arrival of the evacuees, the head of the Ministry of Reintegration, Irina Vereshchuk, said that a total of 156 people were sent from Mariupol, but did not specify whether they were talking only about people from Azovstal.
According to https://zaxid.net