Russian war of aggression on Ukraine: Evacuation campaign started from steel plant in Mariupol

In the Ukrainian port of Mariupol, an international evacuation operation to rescue civilians from the steelworks besieged by Russian troops has begun. The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are also involved, as an ICRC spokesman confirmed.

According to initial reports, several dozen civilians have already been taken from the Asovstal steelworks in a convoy of several buses. The hope rests on the fact that this could be the beginning of a larger action.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke on Sunday of a “first group of about 100 people” who had been evacuated. “Now we are working with the UN to evacuate more civilians from the facility,” he wrote on Twitter.

The Russian Defense Ministry said about 80 people were taken to the village of Besimenne between Mariupol and the Russian border and taken care of there. According to Moscow, the action took place on the initiative of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Those who wanted to enter the area controlled by Ukrainian troops were handed over to UN and ICRC officials.

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According to Ukrainian information, around 1,000 civilians are still trapped in the bunkers at the plant. Russia speaks of about 2,500 people, mainly military and “foreign mercenaries”. Some people were able to escape from the industrial complex on Saturday.

Another evacuation operation, which was supposed to bring civilians from the largely destroyed city to Zaporizhia, was postponed. Instead of Sunday afternoon, the test should now start this Monday morning (7 a.m. CEST), as the city council announced. Zaporizhia is under Ukrainian control. (dpa)

By Editor

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