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Mariupol: Evacuation from besieged steel plant temporarily halted Monday

Mariupol: Evacuation from besieged steel plant temporarily halted Monday

The city council said in a Telegram that the eviction process will resume at 8 a.m. local time Near the shopping center in Mariupol.

The announcement came hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol was underway.

Zielinsky said later Sunday that for the first time the vital corridor for evacuating civilians from the plant had begun to operate, adding that more than 100 civilians had been evacuated.

After those civilians were evacuated, the steel plant came under fire again Sunday night, according to a Ukrainian soldier in Mariupol who spoke to Ukrainian television.

“The occupiers started shooting at Azovstal again as soon as the evacuation of some Ukrainians was completed,” said Denis Shlyga, commander of the 12th Ukrainian National Guard Brigade. Schleiga claimed that they were using “all kinds of weapons”.

It was not clear Sunday evening whether the renewed bombing would jeopardize the next phase of the steel plant evacuation.

Hundreds of people – including dozens injured – are believed to be inside the compound, which is the last Ukrainian stronghold in the city after weeks of heavy Russian bombing.

“The situation has become a sign of a real humanitarian catastrophe, because people are running out of water, food and medicine,” said Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Verychuk.

Almost every building in the factory was destroyed, New satellite images Show Saturday.

Officials said an estimated 100,000 people remained in the city.

Earlier Sunday, Zelensky chirp The evacuation of civilians from the steel mill has begun.

“The first group of about 100 people is already heading to the controlled area. We will meet them tomorrow in Zaporizhia. Grateful to our team! Now they are working with the #UN to evacuate other civilians from the factory,” said the Ukrainian president.

Evacuation has already been confirmed International Committee of the Red Crosswho said he would work with the United Nations on the operation.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that a convoy that set off on Friday traveled 230 kilometers to reach Mariupol on Saturday morning.

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The statement added that “the ICRC insists on the fact that details can only be exchanged after the situation permits, as this may seriously endanger the safety of civilians and the convoy. The relevant local authorities are communicating with civilians on practical details.”

The Russian news agency TASS, citing the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, reported that 80 civilians were rescued from the “territories” of the Azovstal plant and evacuated to a Russian-controlled complex a few miles away.

It is unclear if any came from within the factory itself.

“Civilians who were evacuated by Russian soldiers from the Azovstal plant, who wished to leave for the areas controlled by the Kyiv regime, were handed over to representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross,” the ministry said.

“The Kyiv authorities are trying by all means to achieve the withdrawal of Ukrainian extremists remaining in Azovstal, where there may be Western officers and mercenaries among them,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Italian television on Sunday.

There is no conclusive evidence of the presence of Western citizens among the fighters in Azovstal.

Lavrov said: “The situation with the confrontation at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol and the stubborn, even hysterical desire of Zelensky, his team and Western sponsors to achieve the withdrawal of all these people and send them to the territory of Ukraine is explained by the fact that there are many personalities who will confirm the presence of mercenaries, and possibly active officers in the Western armies on the side of the Ukrainian radicals.

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“Pray for everything to work”

Earlier Sunday, the Mariupol city council urged civilians to gather near the shopping center where there was “coincidence” From the evacuation corridor to Zaporizhia from the besieged city.

“If you have relatives or acquaintances in Mariupol, try to contact them by all means. Call, send a text and say that it is possible to go to Zaporozhye, where it is safe,” and instructed civilians to meet “Port City Clock Shopping Center” said the council on Telegram. 4 pm

“We pray that everything will work,” she added.

The release of the evacuation came a day after two groups of civilians were evacuated from the vicinity of the Azovstal factory. according to For Russian state news agencies.

The TASS and RIA Novosti news agency, citing the Russian Defense Ministry, said that 46 people had left “the residential buildings adjacent to Azovstal” and “were provided with housing and food”.

Russian agencies did not disclose where the evacuees were taken.

& # 39;  They never expected Mariupol's resistance.  & # 39;  The locals were terrified by the relentless Russian attack on the vast steel mill protecting the Ukrainians
Earlier Sunday, a Ukrainian commander inside the factory She said some civilians were evacuated From the factory Saturday after the implementation of the ceasefire.

Captain Svyatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment, said that the cease-fire, which was supposed to start at 6 in the morning, ended at 11 in the morning.

Palamar said that 20 women and children had been taken to an “agreed meeting point” in the hope that they would be evacuated to the “agreed destination” in Zaporizhia.

Correction: This story has been updated to correctly reflect when the evacuation of citizens will resume in Mariupol.

This story was updated with additional information on Sunday.