Friday, April 19

Ukraine completes evacuation of women, children and elderly from Mariupol steel works

The torment is over for many of the civilians trapped in the gigantic Azovstal steel plant, the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol. The Ukrainian authorities reported this Saturday that all women, children and elderly who took refuge in the underground bunkers of the plant have been evacueesas reported by the deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshcuk. This week, several dozen civilians had already managed to leave the facilities and were transported by bus to an area controlled by the Ukrainians.

“The presidential order to evacuate all women, children and elderly people from Azovstal has been fulfilled. This part of the humanitarian operation is over”, the Ukrainian leader announced on her Telegram account. Hours before, the forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, who collaborate with Russia in the siege of the city, they had reported the evacuation of fifty civilians throughout this Saturday.

The departure of civilians from Azovstal comes after several days of unsuccessful attempts to complete the evacuation, forged as a result of an agreement between kyiv and the Russian military. Just this week, Ukrainian forces entrenched in the plant’s underground tunnels accused Kremlin troops of reneging on their commitment. “There is harsh and bloody clashes”, assured Captain Sviatoslav Palamar, one of the commanders of the Azov battalion at the plant.

constant bombing

“Again the Russians have failed to honor the ceasefire promise or give the civilians hiding in the factory cellars a chance to take shelter.” In Azovstal it is believed that there are still some 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers, even though Vladimir Putin stated at the end of last month that his troops control the entire port city.

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Conditions at the plant remain drastic. “It is being bombarded relentlessly,” Mariupol Mayor’s adviser Petro Andriushchenko said on Thursday. “The last 11 square kilometers of freedom in Mariupol have been turned into hell.”

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