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Mariupol steel plant evacuations begin, Russia focuses on eastern Ukraine

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After weeks of fearing for their lives, evacuations for those trapped at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol began over the weekend. Clips from the evacuation can be found in the video above. In addition to serving as a hiding spot for civilians, the plant has served as the last stronghold for Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed Sunday more than 100 civilians—including elderly women and mothers with small children—had been evacuated. According to authorities, they were making their way via bus and ambulance 140 miles northwest to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia.

“Given all the process complexities, the first evacuees will arrive in Zaporizhzhia tomorrow morning. Our team will meet them there,” President Zelenskyy said in his daily address Sunday. “I hope that tomorrow all the necessary conditions will be fulfilled to continue the release of the Mariupol people.”

Mariupol Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov told the BBC that high-level negotiations were underway among Ukraine, Russia and international organizations on more evacuations.

“This evacuation effort covers only the civilians,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday. “We still have Ukrainian defenders who, including wounded, severely wounded, Ukrainian soldiers, and their lives should not be left at the discretion of Russian army who continue bombarding their positions. So we will work tirelessly to make sure that we save as many human lives as possible in Mariupol.”

The Mariupol steel plant evacuations came just before Russia resumed bombing the plant. The attacks are just part of a renewed Russian aggression towards the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have been battling Ukrainian forces since 2014.

“They destroyed the warehouses of agricultural enterprises, destroyed the warehouse with grain, and fired on the warehouse with fertilizers,” Zelenskyy said Sunday. “Moreover, Russian Federation forces are being drawn up in the south to attack our cities and communities in the Dnipropetrovsk region, which could be Russia’s strategic success in this war.”

 

 

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister: “This evacuation effort covers only the civilians. And we still have Ukrainian defenders who, including wounded, severely wounded, Ukrainian soldiers, and their lives should not be left at the discretion of Russian army who continue bombarding their positions. So we will work tirelessly to make sure that we save as many human lives as possible in Mariupol.”

After weeks of fearing for their lives, evacuations for those trapped at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol began over the weekend. Clips from the evacuation can be found in the video above. In addition to serving as a hiding spot for civilians, the plant has served as the last stronghold for Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed Sunday more than 100 civilians—including elderly women and mothers with small children—had been evacuated. According to authorities, they were making their way via bus and ambulance 140 miles northwest to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia.

“Given all the process complexities, the first evacuees will arrive in Zaporizhzhia tomorrow morning. Our team will meet them there,” President Zelenskyy said in his daily address Sunday. “I hope that tomorrow all the necessary conditions will be fulfilled to continue the release of the Mariupol people.”

Mariupol Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov told the BBC that high-level negotiations were underway among Ukraine, Russia and international organizations on more evacuations.

“This evacuation effort covers only the civilians,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday. “We still have Ukrainian defenders who, including wounded, severely wounded, Ukrainian soldiers, and their lives should not be left at the discretion of Russian army who continue bombarding their positions. So we will work tirelessly to make sure that we save as many human lives as possible in Mariupol.”

The Mariupol steel plant evacuations came just before Russia resumed bombing the plant. The attacks are just part of a renewed Russian aggression towards the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists have been battling Ukrainian forces since 2014.

“They destroyed the warehouses of agricultural enterprises, destroyed the warehouse with grain, and fired on the warehouse with fertilizers,” Zelenskyy said Sunday. “Moreover, Russian Federation forces are being drawn up in the south to attack our cities and communities in the Dnipropetrovsk region, which could be Russia’s strategic success in this war.”

 

 

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