In Mariupol, twenty civilians left the Azovstal factory to be evacuated

Hope is reborn a little in Mariupol. Twenty civilians left the Azovstal factory on Saturday, besieged by the Russians, to be evacuated to Zaporijjia, announced the Azov regiment which defends the site. The regiment’s fighters also continue to clear the rubble after heavy bombardments the day before and during the night, to get other civilians out.

“Twenty civilians, women and children (…) have been transferred to an agreed place and we hope that they will be evacuated to Zaporizhia, in the territory controlled by Ukraine,” said Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment. in a video on Telegram. A few hours earlier, the official Russian agency Tass announced that a group of 25 civilians, including six children, had been able to get out of Azovstal, a huge steelworks where hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are blocked. No attempt to evacuate Azovstal has been successful so far.

Incessant bombings

“Throughout the night, enemy artillery bombarded the site. The ceasefire which was supposed to start at 6 a.m. did not start until 11 a.m. Since both parties respect it. The evacuation convoy that we were expecting at 6 a.m. only arrived at 6:25 p.m.,” according to Sviatoslav Palamar. And according to him, the evacuation of wounded who need medical aid to the territory controlled by Ukraine is not on the agenda.

Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians, including dozens of children, are stranded, according to kyiv, on the Azovstal site, with the last Ukrainian fighters in the city, almost completely destroyed and controlled by Russian forces after weeks of siege. The Ukrainian presidency had announced the day before that the evacuation of the civilians holed up in the Azovstal factory was “planned” for Friday. But that day, an AFP team was able to hear heavy shelling in Azovstal in the morning and until mid-afternoon, during a press trip to Mariupol organized by the Russian army. In the early afternoon, the explosions were spaced only a few seconds apart, some appearing particularly powerful.

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According to new satellite images from Maxar Technologies taken on April 29, almost all buildings in Azovstal have been destroyed. We see holes in the roofs, some completely collapsed roofs and buildings of which only rubble remains.

The United Nations is busy

The UN coordinator in Ukraine, Osnat Lubrani, announced on Thursday that she was leaving for the south of the country to prepare for an evacuation attempt from Mariupol. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, visiting kyiv on Thursday, assured his side that the organization was doing “everything possible” to evacuate civilians stuck in the “apocalypse” of Mariupol, which had a half -million people before the Russian invasion.

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